UND, NASA, the MITRE Corp. and Draper Laboratory collaborate on vital UAS software test this week

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News Article

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Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


UND-developed sense-and-avoid software to tested aboard a NASA Cirrus SR-22

The University of North Dakota (UND) is hosting this week a series of flight tests on software developed by UND College of Engineering and Mines faculty and students in collaboration with the MITRE Corp., NASA Langley Research Center and Draper Laboratory.

The software is loaded aboard a specially equipped NASA airplane—a specially modified Cirrus SR-22. Sense-and-avoid programs developed by NASA Langley, by MITRE and by Draper also are being tested, along with hardware aboard NASA Langley's Cirrus aircraft.

Airborne testing is expected to conclude Friday or Saturday.

This week's tests are part of a larger research effort. The MITRE Corporation, NASA Langley, Draper Laboratory, UND, North Dakota State University and the North Dakota National Guard (NDNG) have partnered in a research project to test the viability of a Cooperative Automatic Sense and Avoid (CASA) capability for unmanned aircraft.

This research project, known as the Limited Deployment-Cooperative Airspace Project (LD-CAP), leverages Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B), the future surveillance source for NextGen, to identify and resolve potential conflicts.

Flight tests of CASA are being conducted in eastern North Dakota this week and in Virginia in August. These tests all utilize NASA Langley's surrogate UAS—the Cirrus SR-22 aircraft, which is partially built at the Cirrus factory in Grand Forks.