ATM Modernization, Commercial, Military

GE Aviation, FAA Enter UAS Research Pact

By Tish Drake | August 11, 2009
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GE Aviation and FAA this week signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) to assess the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace Systems (NAS), and adapting trajectory-based operations (TBO) for UASs. The simulation, which will be conducted at FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, will begin this fall and continue for two years. GE Aviation will adapt its flight management system to achieve trajectory-based control of UAS including demonstrations of an AAI Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System. The company said these demonstrations will show the ability to integrate certified flight management capability into existing U.S. military UAS. The company said the technology derived from this research will be folded into its commercial Flight Management System. “Under this Agreement we will be accomplishing an aviation first by completing the research to facilitate flight of an Unmanned Aircraft System with an FAA certified, trajectory-based flight management system,” said Chris Beaufait, president of Avionics for GE Aviation. “Safe integration of UAS into our national airspace will include trajectory-based flight management as an enabler. This CRDA directly supports development of the FAA NextGen Air Traffic Management System.”

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