DETROIT – Airspace Link, a leading drone safety infrastructure company, is announcing its participation in the FAA’s UTM Field Test, a research project designed to evaluate the technology and standards being developed to help safely coordinate and prioritize drone flights as drone activity in low-altitude airspace ramps up. (“UTM” is short for UAS (drone) Traffic Management).
“We’re excited to participate in this important research as the industry continues to scale, increasing the pressing need for validation and testing of this technology.” says Michael Healander, Co-Founder & CEO of Airspace Link.
“We’ve worked with federal, state and local government, and industry operators to understand their unique challenges and work with them to craft solutions. The UTM Field Test provides an opportunity to explore some of the most pressing questions to support safe implementation in the future.”
Airspace Link has been supporting UTM technology in the U.S. since its first step in integrating with manned air traffic management through the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). Airspace Link became one of the first UAS Service Suppliers approved by the FAA to provide this capability. A process that had previously taken up to 90 days for pilots to obtain authorization when flying in controlled airspace can now be completed through Airspace Link’s AirHub® Launch application in just a few clicks.
As drone hardware technology continues to mature, with multiple aircrafts progressing through certification, operators flying longer distances, and more complex operations, the density of the airspace will continue to increase. As that continues to progress, the need for low-altitude traffic management solutions continues to become more evident. Safely implementing these traffic management systems will require a diverse ecosystem of public and private partners.
Airspace Link will be integrating its AirHub® Connect software into the ecosystem, publishing airspace constraint and advisory data into a federated UTM network, informing operators of dynamic conditions that could impact operation safety. These tests will continue the development and validation of UTM technology based on industry consensus standards.
In addition to traffic management capabilities, this project will also showcase cutting-edge data and message security capabilities, ensuring the safety and security of the data shared across the UTM ecosystem. As digital data is sent between drones, drone operators, and software platforms, these mechanisms must be in place to safeguard sensitive information and verify that participants are accurately representing their identity.
The project is led by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), one of seven FAA-designated drone test sites. For this project, they will be teaming up with a sister test site, the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi. In a separate initiative, Airspace Link has partnered with Lone Star UAS CoE to bring the FlySafe Program, powered by AirHub, to the community, bridging the gap between future testing like this and enabling safer flights within the community today.
For this UTM Field Test, testing will unfold at four sites: Kentland Farms, a rural test facility outside Blacksburg where MAAP has often conducted complex research flights; suburban Christiansburg; and two sites in urban Corpus Christi, Tx.
Airspace Link’s vision is to create a world where the safe integration of drones fuels human progress, advancing social equity, the environment, and the economy. Founded in Detroit in 2018 by CEO Michael Healander, Airspace Link is one of the few FAA Approved UAS Service Suppliers of the Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Capability (LAANC). Airspace Link’s cloud-based platform, AirHub®, provides the digital infrastructure required to support the safe use of recreational and commercial drone use in communities at scale, supporting the growth of drone operations, drone service providers, drone manufacturers, package delivery, and air taxi deployment in the future. Learn more at www.airspacelink.com.