FAA selects team to develop and test new integrated Contingency Management Platform at New York UAS Test Site

The FAA has selected five commercial companies to be a part of a team that will be responsible for developing and testing a new integrated Contingency Management Platform (CMP) at the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York.

The five companies are CAL Analytics, ResilienX, Assured Information Security (AIS), TruWeather and Kongsberg Geospatial.

The FAA recently awarded a $1.6M contract that will advance unmanned traffic management (UTM) at the New York UAS Test Site. CAL Analytics will lead the development of the project.

The team will develop a single, integrated CMP for UAS integration. In collaboration with Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR) and Oneida County, the team will integrate and test its CMP technology to address specific safety and risk mitigation concerns for operating UAS in the national airspace at the New York UAS Test Site. To ensure the safe flight of UAS, the CMP will offer important protection protocols and situational awareness, providing operators with alerts of faults, failures, and severe weather.

CAL Analytics will lead the system integration for the final product. ResilienX will provide health monitoring and fault mitigation software, while AIS provides cybersecurity components. TruWeather will provide micro-weather services, and Kongsberg Geospatial will provide beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) airspace visualization capabilities for the CMP.

“We're excited to work directly with the FAA to bring together some of the most innovative companies in the industry to tackle operational safety in UTM,” says Dr. Sean Calhoun, managing director of CAL Analytics.

“Validating a contingency management approach is a critical, but often overlooked, step to achieve routine commercial drone operations.”

NUAIR will manage validation testing. NUAIR manages operations at the Oneida County-owned New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport. The test site is one of just seven FAA-designated UAS test sites in the United States.

The team will also utilize the state’s 50-mile UAS Corridor, which is equipped with radars and advanced technologies to facilitate advanced drone operations.

“This partnership further solidifies Oneida County’s UAS Test Site as the global leader in industry research and advancement,” says Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

“The unmanned traffic management corridor we have been establishing from Rome to Syracuse is laying the groundwork for the future of UAS deployment, performance, safety and delivery capabilities.”

Kongsberg Geospatial will deploy IRIS UxS, which is a real-time airspace visualization system for BVLOS mission management that allows a single operator to manage multiple aircraft. Built on the company’s TerraLens real-time geospatial engine, the system creates a real-time picture of the airspace where UAS are being operated by combining real-time data from various sensors.

“For the past few years, we’ve been working on improving safety for BVLOS UAS missions through the development of IRIS UxS,” says Kongsberg vice president, Paige Cutland.

“The IRIS system is now actively deployed for a variety of long-range mission applications including drone delivery, pipeline inspection, and emergency airspace operations.”

The contract is part of the FAA’s efforts to perform vital drone integration safety work at the agency's federally-designated UAS test sites. Awarded after a competitive acquisition process, the project was intended for “qualified companies who can work at FAA UAS testing sites to forward essential integration technologies such as sense and avoid capabilities, geofencing, and unmanned traffic management (UTM.)”

The Contingency Management Platform is expected to be deployed and tested over the next few months.