NMSU photo by Derek Flodmand
The New Mexico State University Physical Science Laboratory will partner with uAvionix to deploy SkyLine, uAvionix’s Managed Command and Control Platform, to support networked autonomous unmanned aircraft systems operations at the NMSU PSL UAS Flight Test Site.
PSL operates one of the seven Federal Aviation Administration approved UAS Flight Test Sites. The NMSU UAS FTS is centered at the Las Cruces International Airport and can fly anywhere in the country using public non-restricted airspace.
The NMSU UAS Flight Test Site operates its own UAS fleet ranging from small battery-powered units to complex medium-altitude systems and has a team of pilots, aircrew, engineers and technicians to advance the research and development of new technology for homeland security, agriculture, defense, science and supporting standards development for UAS regulators for the integration of unmanned systems into the National Airspace System.
“As a part of the partnership, uAvionix will deliver and install SkyLine, its Enterprise Command and Control infrastructure management service, that was built from the ground up to meet aviation design standards for critical UAS and UAM applications. SkyLine sets a new standard by combining certified hardware and software into services for seamless management of UAS missions and infrastructure,” said Christian Ramsey, president of uAvionix. “Introducing our managed command and control capabilities to the PSL UAS Flight Test Site enables NMSU PSL customers to develop certifiable platforms and safety case approval for beyond visual line of site operations.”
“The safe integration of unmanned with manned aviation is of utmost importance to our PSL customers and the PSL UAS Test Flight team,” said Henry Cathey, director of PSL Aerospace Division and NMSU UAS Flight Test Site. “The introduction of SkyLine will enable our customers to build and safely test their systems in a certifiable way.”
“Partnering with uAvionix in the deployment of this important C2 platform will ensure our faculty and trained staff of pilots remain in the forefront of technology development,” PSL Director Eric Sanchez said. “The SkyLine system is a critical asset for NMSU and the Borderplex in support of an ecosystem that facilitates the further growth and development of a UAS sector in the region.”
The SkyLine C2 platform consists of scalable and robust ground radio hardware communicating with aircraft airborne radios (microLink) operating from 902-928MHz that are managed by a cloud-based network service layer (SkyLine), which monitors and manages signal strength, roaming/handoffs and provides centralized control for mission-critical and beyond visual line of sight operations.
For higher-risk operations such as air mobility and critical infrastructure, uAvionix is developing RTCA DO-362A C-Band GRS and ARS hardware for maximum reliability and protection by operating on a licensed protected spectrum to prevent unwanted and unsafe interference.
NMSU’s PSL was founded in 1946 in response to the nation’s space and rocket programs, PSL’s growth in capability and talent has enabled the university to provide exceptional support to numerous scientific and technical activities across the nation and around the globe.
Today’s domain expertise includes electronic warfare, counter measures, cybersecurity, telemetry and missile systems, 21st century aerospace and scientific ballooning. PSL maintains a catalog of telemetry and antenna systems designed and built in its laboratory. Additionally, custom flight hardware can be designed to meet customer needs.
Author: Marcella Shelby – NMSU
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