MCLEAN, Va., - AURA Network Systems and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have entered into a four-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to help determine performance standards for Air Traffic Control (ATC) voice communications supporting unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within the national airspace system (NAS). The project is essential to eventual regulations empowering applications ranging from cargo flights to infrastructure inspections and first-responder operations. AURA has also been selected by NASA as a National Campaign partner to work towards integrating air taxies, cargo-delivery aircraft and revolutionary air-vehicle concepts into the NAS.
The joint FAA-AURA effort expected to get underway this month is designed to better inform RTCA DO-377 Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards (MASPS) for ATC voice communications supporting UAS operations within the NAS. RTCA (previously Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) develops technical guidance for both government regulatory authorities and industry.
The joint project will test latency and evaluate voice quality/speech intelligibility of air-to-ground radio-path transmissions between UAS pilots and FAA voice-switch air traffic controller positions. The provision of ATC voice communications relayed through an unmanned aircraft is a unique offering of AURA, and integration with the FAA voice systems is an essential step toward gaining regulatory approval for the service.