RTCA Standards Basis for First Ever Large UAS Flight Without Chase Plane

June 15, 2018

Photo Credit: NASA

RTCA standards developed by Special Committee (SC) 228, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, were the basis for the Detect and Avoid system onboard the NASA unmanned aircraft on a flight that took place in Class-A, E and D airspace, with a low pass over Victorville Airport (CA) on June 12th.

As reported by NASA https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-flies-large-unmanned-aircraft-in-public-airspace-without-chase-plane-for-first, “The Ikhana aircraft (developed by GA-ASI) was equipped with detect and avoid technologies, including an airborne radar developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. http://www.ga.com/ga-asi-daa-system-aids-faa-approved-flight-of-nasa-unm..., a Honeywell Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System, a Detect and Avoid Fusion Tracker, and an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast capability – a surveillance technology where the aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts this information so other aircraft can track it.”

“SC-228, with substantial validation and testing support from NASA, developed the Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for DAA equipment and a Command and Control (C2) Data Link MOPS,” explained Margaret Jenny, president, RTCA. “This is an exciting development that sets the stage for safe routine UAS flights in non-segregated airspace.”

For more information on SC-228, led by John Moore, Rockwell Collins, Paul McDuffee, The Boeing Company, and Steve Van Trees, FAA Government Authorized Representative, see the SC-228 page. To purchase UAS Standards, DO-365, MOPS for Detect and Avoid Systems,and DO-366, MOPS for Air-to-Air Radar for Traffic Surveillance, visit the online store.