Bell, NASA col­lab­o­rate on UAS

Pilot - - ROTORHEADS -

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

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