SkyGrid and NASA Work Together to Advance Emerging Aviation Operations with Autonomous Systems

AUSTIN, Texas, May 31, 2024 ~ NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) has announced a new collaboration with SkyGrid, a Boeing and SparkCognition company, to advance autonomous aviation and increase airspace safety and access. This partnership will focus on integrating services, functions, and capabilities essential for the operations of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft.

Led by NASA's System-Wide Safety Project, the collaboration will involve two main components. The first component will integrate SkyGrid's traffic surveillance software into distributed cooperative airspace management systems such as the Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) System and Provider of Unmanned Aerial Mobility Services (PSU). This integration will be demonstrated through comprehensive flight demonstrations.

The second component will focus on specific use cases that aim to optimize Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations in diverse environments within the National Airspace System (NAS). This includes enhancing transportation effectiveness in urban settings through life-saving para-public services and efficient cargo delivery. The collaboration will also leverage existing and novel surveillance data and processing to ensure essential safety considerations are met.

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Dr. Kyle Ellis, Project Manager for NASA's System-Wide Safety project, expressed excitement about the collaboration with SkyGrid. "Through our collaboration with SkyGrid, NASA aims to foster the integration of highly-automated systems in aviation," said Dr. Ellis. "This not only enhances operational efficiency but fundamentally elevates safety standards."

The partnership between SkyGrid and NASA will also contribute to developing new standards and procedures for safe autonomous aircraft operation. This includes sharing critical data, experiences, and insights to formulate safety cases, risk assessments, and safety management systems tailored to emerging aviation technologies.

Jia Xu, CEO of SkyGrid, highlighted the significance of this collaboration in advancing both technology and safety frameworks in traffic surveillance for autonomous aviation. "By combining our efforts with NASA Langley's unparalleled research capabilities," stated Xu, "we are not just aiming to advance the technology but also enhance the safety frameworks in traffic surveillance to support autonomous aviation."

This collaboration between SkyGrid and NASA Langley Research Center is a significant step towards advancing autonomous aviation and ensuring the safety of airspace. With their combined expertise, they aim to revolutionize the way we predict, analyze, and mitigate risks in aviation as it becomes more complex and integrated with advanced systems.
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