NASA to Put General Atomics Ikhana’s Detect-Avoid Tools to 4th Round of Flight Tests; Heather Maliska Comments

IkhanaUASNASA plans to demonstrate detect-and-avoid platforms onboard a General Atomics-built Ikhana unmanned aerial system by end of April in support of the Federal Aviation Administration’s efforts to develop policies on the integration of UAS with the national airspace system.

The planned demonstration will run through June at the space agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California and will be the fourth in a series of tests under FAA’s airspace integration program, the space agency said Friday.

Ikhana will go through 15 test flights that will involve at least 270 encounters with several “intruder” aircraft such as Beechcraft B200 King AirTG-14, T-34C and C90 King Air.

The agency will also collaborate with Honeywell International and the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics’ special committee for the flight demonstration.

“This flight test plan coordinates the DAA systems, intruder aircraft equipment and speeds, design of encounter geometries, and the number of intruder aircraft needed to conduct the encounter in order to meet NASA’s and the community’s requirements,” said Heather Maliska, UAS-NAS deputy project manager at Armstrong.

Beth Stevenson also reported for Flightglobal that Ikhana contains a Honeywell-built collision avoidance tool and software.

NASA completed the third round of tests for the program in September 2015.

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