FAA awards contract for unmanned drone traffic system tests


The FAA has awarded a contract to develop and test a system for managing unmanned drone traffic at the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems to ANRA Technologies and IT-infrastructure provider Switch .

The US$1.79 million contract, to which the FAA is contributing around half, will evaluate performance thresholds, mitigation strategies, operational constraints, and system requirements for scalable operation of commercial small UAS (unmanned aerial systems).

The project will also provide insight into redundancy, bandwidth, cost estimates, compute, and data storage requirements to operate the UAS traffic management (UTM) systems safely and securely on a national scale in a scalable and cost-effective manner.

According to UTM-developer ANRA Technologies, the system will be realistically tested to a “level that has never been tested before” and will “create the most realistic UTM and BVLOS [beyond visual line of sight]ecosystem ever attempted”.

Brent Klavon, VP of Operations at ANRA Technologies “We are thrilled to provide the UTM and simulation capability to research capacity limits for UAS Traffic Management in a virtual environment.”

Switch Founder and CEO Rob Roy said, “To be selected as a recipient of a contract by the FAA to test the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System at a scale never before attempted is a true honor for Switch.

“We will leverage our far-reaching Switch AMERICA independent exascale infrastructure platform, including the Switch EDGE data centers, to power the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System.”

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About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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