Bell, NASA collaborate on UAS
Bell has signed a cooperative agreement with NASA for an Unmanned Aircraft Systems flight demonstration in the US National Airspace System that is scheduled for 2020, with the aim of progressing toward routine commercial UAS operations in US airspace.
With teammates Textron Systems, Xwing and the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), the project’s partners plan to demonstrate commercial mission operations with Bell’s Autonomous Pod Transport 70 (APT70), which will include integrated command and control (C2) and detect and avoid (DAA) technologies. They will explore requirements relating to commercial transport missions for medical, law enforcement/‘parapublic’ and offshore operations.
“We believe the capabilities of our Autonomous Pod Transport will enable us to tackle key challenges facing commercial UAS operations today, leading to a successful demonstration,” says Scott Drennan, Bell’s VicePresident of Innovation.
Bell will lead design, development, production and systems integration of APT. Textron will supply command and control operations, Xwing will provide detect and avoid technologies, and CASA will focus on weather avoidance technology.
ABOVE: Bell’s APT70 is said to be a step on the way to routine commercial operations