The details associated with supporting expanded drone operations and what it means to enable safety measures that will lead to greater social acceptance are rarely explored in-depth, highlighting a misunderstanding that many have when it comes to taking drone technology to the next level. Through a series of presentations and conversations, this session will specifically define the main challenges in increasing functionality in UAS applications and what it looks like to see them resolved.
Accelerating adoption of uncrewed aircraft systems for commercial applications (2:00-2:45)
Uncrewed aircraft systems promise significant rewards for ambitious innovators, but how can we achieve the safety and value proposition standard necessary to accelerate public acceptance of autonomous aircraft?
In this session, presenters Chris Bourbeau (Cambridge Consultants), Lisa Peterson (AirSpace Link) and Kimberly Penn (Women and Drones) discuss the rapid pace of innovation taking place, and how these advances in technology will accelerate public acceptance of uncrewed aircraft systems and achieve greater commercial success. Speakers will also explore cutting-edge research that has conceived a whole new concept for collaborative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations, what it means to provide actionable insights for cities to prepare for the rapid increase in drone operations, and how these pieces can be better connected and enabled with artificial intelligence.
This session will close with a short panel discussion led by Bourbeau to discuss insights and action items. Panelists will connect these insights to the enablement of an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) infrastructure, which will be discussed further in the second panel discussion.
Connecting Pilots with Data: Las Vegas, Nevada's UAS FlySafe Program
The City of Las Vegas and Airspace Link partnered to launch the FlySafe Program, powered by AirHub to enable safer drone operations today while paving the way for advanced commercial operations at scale. The FlySafe Program provides a digital infrastructure to enable safer drone operations today, along with actionable insights for the city to prepare for the rapid increase in drone operations. To implement the program, Airspace Link integrated the city's local geospatial information into the AirHub platform to ensure pilots were aware of the most up-to-date information regarding the city's critical assets and infrastructure. The AirHub Platform also enables the city to publish hyperlocal advisories and additional ground-based information through the AirHub Connect application that is optimized for state and local government use; Information like is there an open-air concert or gathering scheduled during my operation? Where are power lines or other community-specific hazards I might need to avoid? This information is visualized for pilots in the AirHub Launch application, increasing situational awareness and enabling LAANC authorizations where necessary. The AirHub platform will also help determine the safest, most efficient pickup/drop-off locations and routes for drones to operate, unleashing the full potential of package delivery for a variety of use cases while ensuring safety is at the forefront. Hardware & Software Selection: Airspace Link's AirHub Platform is directly integrated with the FAA, leverages the Esri ArcGIS platform and extensive 3rd party data sets as the foundation for the analysis. The AirHub Platform transforms this detailed data into easy-to-understand risk assessments and routing tools to help all parties in the drone ecosystem better plan, authorize and manage their drone operations; allowing them to scale safely. The risk and safe route determination models are proprietary, but leverage industry standards and research building upon JARUS, NASA, FAA Assure, and MITRE's contributions. With a bespoke application tailored to operators' needs in AirHub Launch connected to the application tailored to state and local government users' needs in AirHub Connect, the AirHub Platform connects all stakeholders in the ecosystem with safety as the top priority. Assessment of ROI & Best Practices: Up to 80% of delivery orders are under 5 lbs and within 5 miles in urban areas, a perfect environment to unlock the massive potential for drone delivery in a variety of industries. The FlySafe program is laying the foundation to attract these opportunities to Las Vegas.
Michael Healander, Airspace Link
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Drone Industry
The increasingly popular use of AI in drone operations is replacing human decision-making and increasing public safety. This presentation will discuss how AI integration in drones relies on sensors that both analyze and collect data. It will also highlight how AI reduces human input via predetermined decision criteria and associated actions mitigating human risk and error.\
Kimberly Penn, Women and Drones
Panel Discussion: Connecting Pilots with Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Drone Industry (2:45-3:30)
Today, automation, autonomy, and other systems have the ability to increase safety. As UAS begin to scale toward nationwide operations, the need for increased automation becomes essential. Thousands of concurrent flights occurring across the country (or in some cases, the world) require a high degree of automation to ensure safe and efficient operations. Legacy systems may not meet the safety requirement. A panel of expert will address these challenges and discuss to what extent emergent technologies such as automation, DAA and UTM will enable future operations. Moderated by Philip Kenul, (ASTM International), speakers will touch upon challenges facing new airspace entrants attempting to implement autonomous aircraft airspace solutions in today’s legacy traffic management systems. Drawing upon their international experience and roles in aviation, the group will discuss what happens next as regulators, industry and society consider what to do next to support expanded operations from package delivery networks to flying taxis.
Panelists include: Wes Ryan; NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI); Amit Ganjoo, (ANRA Technologies, LLC), Lorenzo Murzilli (Murzilli Consulting) and Andy Thurling (DroneUp).