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Civil Aviation
Thales, NASA sign UAS agreement
Thales, NASA sign UAS agreement
© DR

| Staff writer

Thales, NASA sign UAS agreement

Thales will work with NASA to support the agency's unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management (UTM) activity.

Thales has reached a formal agreement with NASA for a Space Act Agreement to facilitate coordination with NASA and support the agency's unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management (UTM) activity.

The FAA describes UTM is a "traffic management" ecosystem for uncontrolled operations that is separate but complementary to the FAA's Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.

The new agreement allows Thales to engage with NASA on a technical and programme level to continue to establish UTM in the United States, and allows Thales to leverage its global expertise in UTM. Thales says it will support NASA’s goal to develop a UTM concept that can be transferred to the FAA in 2019 for deployment in the national airspace system (NAS).

Under this agreement, Thales will collaborate with NASA for the research, development, testing and evaluation of low-altitude airspace control of UAS operating at or below 400 feet. To support NASA’s milestones for developing UTM, Thales will engage with industry and government stakeholders to share expertise, concepts and perspectives on the integration of unmanned systems. The agreement also includes further cooperation with existing Technology Capability Level activities being conducted by NASA.

Thales is already working with other NASA partners at the FAA’s New York Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY, and will be deploying technologies in support of NASA initiatives. Through existing agreements with Syracuse University, Griffiss International Airport, CenterState CEO, Empire State Development and the NUAIR Alliance, Thales is supporting the development of UTM in New York including integration and monitoring of the FAA’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM) capabilities.

Thales also continues to work with the FAA on the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) programme for small unmanned aerial system integration.

Thales unveiled ECOsystem UTM in 2017 — a flexible platform designed to bridge the gap between the safety and security requirements of national & local authorities and the operational needs of civil UAS users.  The platform provides an automated means for UAS users to validate their mission against relevant regulations and conform to required authorization and notification processes.

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