US: Parimal Kopardekar, manager of NASA’s Safe Autonomous Systems Operations project, asserts, “The sky could become increasingly crowded as personal and commercial uses of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, become more popular.” To address the growth of this quickly evolving technology, NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are developing a UAS traffic management (UTM) system for low-altitude airspace.
“NASA wants to create a system that would keep track of and deliver important information to operators of UAS, such as which areas they should avoid, whether any other vehicles are trying to operate in the same airspace, and what the weather will be like in a given area.”
— Parimal Kopardekar, manager of NASA’s Safe Autonomous Systems Operations project
NASA hopes to use UTM as a tool to bring more people together and bridge the gap between commercial innovation and NASA’s air traffic management research. The NASA team is researching and testing ways to communicate data to drones while they’re in flight, such as, dynamic geo-fences, or virtual barriers, giving UAS operators the most updated information in real-time.