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Rockwell Collins, NASA in UAS risk reduction testing

Rockwell Collins and NASA are conducting tests on the use of unmanned aerial systems in national airspace.
By Richard Tomkins   |   June 24, 2014 at 6:16 PM

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, June 24 (UPI) -- Two-phase risk reduction tests to help enable unmanned aircraft systems to operate in national airspace are to be conducted by Rockwell Collins and NASA.

"Routine integration of sizeable numbers of UAS into the national airspace system is a challenging task," said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. "This technology will provide the critical communications link for UAS pilots on the ground to safely and securely operate their remotely piloted vehicles in flight even though they are many miles apart."

The tests being held in Iowa involve a NASA-owned Lockheed S-3 Viking and a Beechcraft Bonanza of the University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory.

Rockwell said the first phase of the test is to demonstrate the ability of unmanned aircraft to hand off communications from one tower to another.

The second part is a demonstration of a single tower communicating with multiple aircraft simultaneously using a waveform under development.

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