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Monday, December 14, 2015
LATAS seeks to address RPAS airspace management issues
Neelam Mathews and Ben Vogel
Dec 3 2015
US-based PrecisionHawk (PH) is building a low altitude tracking and avoidance system (LATAS) as a solution for safe air traffic management (ATM) of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).
PH is developing LATAS in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA, and major industry partners Verizon, Harris, and DigitalGlobe. The aim is for LATAS to enable pilots of manned aircraft to pinpoint the location of unmanned aircraft in the airspace before they become a safety hazard.
Could LATAS assuage FAA concerns over RPAS safety?
LATAS is being assessed in the FAA Pathfinder programme and the NASA-led UAS Traffic Management (UTM) project. PH is working with NASA and other partners to test a wide range of RPAS in real-world scenarios. As NASA continues to develop a workable UTM, LATAS will have the potential to serve as the hardware addition for each drone attached to that overarching system, the company said.
A working prototype LATAS platform was launched in January 2015. It is small (6 inch 3 ), lightweight (less than 100 g), and is designed to be used even in legacy 2G networks.
"Currently, manufacturers that are working to integrate their specific systems in a UTM are leaving out a huge network of drone users, including the hobbyist unmanned vehicles, which comprise the majority of the space," said Tyler Collins, PH director of business development and the creator of LATAS.
As an automated ATM system, LATAS can provide flight planning...read more in IHS Janes (Subscription)