|The Stalker XE and K-MAX operated in collaboration with a prototype UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system, which provides essential capabilities to enable safe UAS operations. Photo: Lockheed Martin
[Avionics Today 12-02-2015] On Nov. 18, Lockheed Martin demonstrated its ability to integrate Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations into the National Airspace System (NAS) using its prototype UAS Traffic Management (UTM) capabilities. During the demonstration, the Stalker XE UAS provided data and a precise geolocation to the unmanned K-MAX cargo helicopter, which conducted water drops to extinguish a fire, while the UTM tracked the UAS operations and communicated with Air Traffic Control (ATC) in real time. The Stalker XE UAS worked in tandem with K-MAX to identify hot spots and fire intensity with its electro-optical, infrared camera.
“This demonstration represents the path forward for flying UAS in the NAS using flight service based UTM capabilities to extend the technology and systems that air traffic controllers know and understand,” said Paul Engola, vice president of transportation and financial solutions at Lockheed Martin. “We were able to successfully modify the existing K-MAX and Stalker XE ground control software to connect to the UTM services and conduct the firefighting mission.”