As remotely piloted aircraft — also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and drones — take to the skies, it is essential for safety that RPA operators and pilots are aware of each other. To help provide this shared situational awareness, Lockheed Martin has deployed the first components of a UAS traffic management (UTM) system that is available to the drone community now.
Lockheed Martin’s online Flight Service Pilot Web feeds flight plan information directly to the FAA’s National Airspace System (NAS) today. RPA operators now have an option of reporting operating areas via this system. RPA operators and pilots may access the system through the Lockheed Martin Flight Service Pilot Portal.
“Our objective is an open, standards-based system that individual operators and other private UTM systems can use to interact seamlessly and securely with the NAS,” said Paul Engola, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Transportation and Financial Solutions business. “We look forward to partnering with UAS operators and manufacturers to help create a system that supports the safe coexistence of manned and unmanned flight.”
These capabilities include standards-based software interfaces that allow RPA ground control stations and other UTM platforms to interact directly with Lockheed Martin’s UTM system; monitoring of RPA to determine if they remain in their intended operating area; and notification of air traffic control when RPA encroach on controlled airspace.
Lockheed Martin is also developing capabilities to support beyond line-of-sight RPA operations through ground-based detect and avoid capabilities, company officials noted.