NUAIR, Sagetech test NY drone corridor situational awareness

NUAIR Sagetech drone

The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR) has announced a link-up with US aerospace company Sagetech Avionics to test platforms providing enhanced situational awareness to pilots flying craft in New York’s 50-mile drone corridor.

NUAIR says its work with Sagetech will trial the company’s detect and avoid (DAA) systems and automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) transponders in drone operation. The objective is to deliver full situational awareness to pilots in its corridor – and, eventually, all UAV sharing the same airspace with traditional aircraft. 

That’s part of the wider testing NUAIR oversees in the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY, seeking to create an assembly of assets in the 50-mile zone that will enable the most advanced and diversified drone uses in the US. As part of that, NUAIR received Federal Aviation Administration approval to broaden its area of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights.

The new situational awareness trials will cover various kinds of UAV operation, including package delivery, lateral infrastructure inspection, and other advanced missions during which the aerial vehicles share the same airspaces as traditional planes and helicopters. NUAIR’s partnership with Sagetech will also explore integration of various DAA technologies and non-cooperative drone sensors. That will rely on the New York UAS Test Site’s robust LTE network, which was selected to permit testing of the widest possible variety of secure drone uses in the common space. 

“Detect and avoid technology is a key aspect in enabling safe, commercial, beyond visual line of sight drone operations,” said NUAIR CEO Ken Stewart. “Safety is paramount, and we’re excited to help test and further develop the Sagetech DAA system to help advance the reality of routine commercial drone operations.”

Sagetech says it will be leveraging its considerable experience deploying safe and reliable ADS-B transponder integration into flight systems. It plans to deepen that offer later this year with the roll-out of what it calls the most advanced certifiable onboard detect and avoid product created thus far. That drone-mounted DAA solution will include a full power Low size, Weight and Power (SWaP) unit, which will be enabled by a connected ACAS DAA computer.

Sagetech says plans to apply what it has learned in developing those new capacities in its partnership with NUAIR in the drone corridor tests.

“Sagetech is excited about our partnership with NUAIR, and the technology and platform partner ecosystem Ken and his leadership have developed,” said Sagetech chief growth officer, Mark Lanphear. “We expect to be able to demonstrate our situational awareness and onboard DAA capabilities with NUAIR and their current and future partners to support NUAIR’s efforts in demonstrating BVLOS capabilities in the corridor.”

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