The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance selected Raytheon as a key partner in the development of America's first and most advanced unmanned aircraft system-testing airspace corridor in New York. Raytheon's intelligence, information and services business will help plan, design, build and support the state's next-generation ATM system to safely test and manage drones.
"UAS are playing an increasingly important role in our society, which means we must have low-altitude air traffic management solutions," said Matt Gilligan, Raytheon VP of navigation and weather. "The New York airspace corridor is the first of its kind, but it won't be the last."
The new corridor will extend 50 miles west from Griffiss International Airport, which is one of only seven FAA-approved UAS test sites in America. It will allow companies to test both drones and ATM technologies in real-world settings, generating valuable data that will inform industry and regulators and ultimately advance the commercial use of drones.
Raytheon's contributions to ATM include the low-power radar, a small, one-meter square active electronically scanned array, software-defined radar unit. When numerous LPRs are networked together, the radar units can cover and control the low-altitude flights of smaller craft—a feat not possible with current large radar systems.
A distributed, low-level LPR network could be created with relative ease, mounting the system atop current cell phone towers or tall buildings.
A single-engine plane lands with the aid of a compact, low-power radar. Photo courtesy of Raytheon
Raytheon said an LPR network could support:
- Safe plane and drone landings
- Aviation surveillance
- Precision weather observations (including 3-D wind information and urban hydrology)
- Small drone detection and tracking
- Border security and surveillance
- Wildfire detection
- Elevation and geographic gap fills