MTSI tests new LATAS traffic management solution

US-based engineering services and technology solutions provider Modern Technology Solutions (MTSI) has completed multi-aircraft testing of a new traffic management solution at the small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) test site at Port Mansfield.

The testing of the new low altitude traffic and airspace safety (LATAS) platform was undertaken in collaboration with UAV manufacturer PrecisionHawk and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

Funded and managed by the US Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate's (US DHS S&T) Borders and Maritime Security Division, the test was aimed at determining the capabilities of the technology against other solutions that provide cloud-processed sUAS position reporting as well as crowd-based aircraft data sourcing.

MTSI senior engineer Paul Evans said: "Essential to these tests was the employment of cloud processed cellular 4G-LTE position reports integrated in to a single airspace picture with crowd based ADS-B and airspace and traffic data.

"Bringing these data pieces together for situational awareness purposes, in a live web application environment, allowed MTSI to assess the potential utility and scalability for future cooperative sUAS and manned aircraft operations. Further, it provided the opportunity to compare LATAS to traditional cooperative position reporting methods."

The testing included four unmanned aircraft and two manned aircraft demonstrating air traffic management (ATM) technologies for pilot situational awareness in a total of 38 flown missions.

LATAS web application facilitated the sUAS pilots with aircraft position reports, alerting them of approaching air traffic and any potential risk.

PrecisionHawk LATAS vice-president Tyler Collins said: "This technology assessment further validates that there are effective solutions for entities, like the Department of Homeland Security, to safely operate manned and unmanned aircraft in a shared airspace today.

"We believe that by pulling together and testing multiple layers of technology, we have the foundation for enabling wide spread drone integration in a real world setting in the very near future."