$2.5M more for drones


Two NASA task orders, valued at up to $2.5 million, have been received by Griffiss International Airport. 

The orders, which are to be completed over the next year, have separate objectives but both are related to the integration of commercial drones into the U.S. airspace. The work will include unmanned aerial vehicle demonstrations, flight simulations and data collection.

NASA is developing an air traffic management system for drones and has contracts with the federally designated unmanned aerial system testing sites, like the one at the county airport.

As part of the first order, the Griffiss test site will be required to perform state-of-the-art vehicle demonstrations across one or more operating environments identified by the space agency. 

The second one requires the implementation of hardware and software solutions to collect data needed for drone traffic management research. The major activity for this task order will be a series of flight demonstrations featuring actual and simulated operations.

“These two NASA task order awards are further indication that the work we and our test site partners are performing here in Oneida County for NASA and the unmanned aerial system industry has not gone unnoticed,” said county Aviation Commissioner Russell Stark.

Demonstration dates have yet to be set.

“Our test site at Griffiss International Airport continues to be a catalyst for technological advancement and the epicenter for crucial research for the unmanned aerial system industry,” said County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “These additional task orders are proof positive of our productive partnership with NASA and a testament to the vital work we are accomplishing together.”

The task order is the latest of several Griffiss test site developments.

Three weeks ago Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was at Griffiss to announced that NASA and NUAIR, manager of the drone test site at the airport, had formalized their partnership to develop the unmanned traffic corridor between Griffiss and Syracuse and build the National UAS Standardized Testing and Recording test facility. The agreement will also give the opportunities to advance research and development in critical technologies such as communication, navigation, and large-scale drone traffic management. according to NASA officials.

The NUSTAR test facility that is intended to operate as a testing service that certifies the cybersecurity and airworthiness of small civilian drones. Currently, standards are lacking for drone airworthiness and certification. NUSTAR will also support the FAA’s mission to develop a sense-and-avoid system.


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