TOOELE COUNTY- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced they have awarded the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Technical Capabilities Level (TLC) 4 operation to the State of Nevada. The State of Nevada UAS Test Site, under the leadership of the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), was selected to execute the NASA UTM TCL 4 operation through an intensely competitive process with six other states. Deseret UAS will participate in the operation through its strong collaborative partnership with NIAS. The partners will demonstrate the capability to safely fly multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (i.e.- drones) in an urban environment.
“We are very excited to partner with NASA on such an important program that will have a significant innovative impact on the global UAS Industry,” said Dr. Chris Walach, Executive/Senior Director of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site, NIAS and the NIAS Unmanned Aviation Safety Center of Excellence. “We believe UTM is absolutely essential to making the airways safe and deconflicting manned and unmanned aviation.”
In addition, United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine Chao has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded the State of Nevada the UAS UTM Pilot Program (UPP). NIAS will similarly execute this operation, with Deseret UAS playing a key role. The UPP is a milestone pilot program to safely integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS) while creating a shared information network that can be used for future federal rule-making.
These watershed operations position the partners as global leaders in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and signal a major development in the advancement of the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry. NIAS, Deseret UAS, and other partners will demonstrate the ability to fly UAVs beyond the operator’s line of sight over a high-density, urban environment and how to integrate those unmanned aircraft operations safely into the (NAS). Both operations require the team to overcome obstacles, including variable urban weather patterns and buildings that obstruct Global Positioning System (GPS) signals.
“The significance of this moment cannot be overstated,” said Deseret UAS Board Chair Shawn Milne. “We are at an inflection point in the history of human transportation. Deseret UAS is helping to lead the way in developing the capabilities necessary to revolutionize mobility. The NASA TLC-4 and FAA UPP programs will allow us to showcase Utah’s unparalleled technical expertise.”