The Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site announced today a research initiative with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the implementation, operation, and maintenance of UAS Traffic Management (UTM) systems in the National Airspace System.

The primary goal of the UTM Pilot Program is to develop, demonstrate, and provide an enterprise service to support UAS Traffic Management operations. The program will be an important component of the initial transfer of NASA’s UTM research technologies to FAA and Industry.

Tests will be conducted in partnership with the University of North Dakota (UND) and UAS company partners, including Simulyze, Inc., Rockwell Collins, AiRXOS, Harris Corporation, Echodyne, and uAvionix.

Flight tests will take place in the Grand Forks and Thompson, ND areas. Each flight event will evaluate different components and capabilities of the deployed system. Much of the UTM system relies on communication of information between the users of the system. Understanding the flow of information in the operational system from user to the UTM and FAA systems is a component of these test efforts. How these flights can be accomplished in uncontrolled and controlled airspaces in both visual and beyond-visual line of sight of the pilot in command will be evaluated.