Delivery drone builder Zipline will collaborate with NASA in an effort to identify implementation strategies for an operational model that envisions the management of multiple autonomous vehicles by a small group of people.
NASA said Tuesday it looks to apply the company’s aerial transportation experience as part of a Space Act Agreement as the agency considers integrating the “m:N” approach into domestic airspace.
The logistics provider can gain access to agency tools and research materials for fleet operation growth pursuits in the country.
Zipline received Part 135 air carrier certification from the Federal Aviation Administration in June to conduct drone-based product deliveries even at distances beyond visual line of sight.
The San Francisco-based company helps bring consumer goods and medical supplies to locations within Northwest Arkansas, as well as foreign destinations in Ghana, Rwanda and Japan.
A NASA working group that includes Zipline participation is exploring use cases for the m:N framework and various factors that could affect multi-vehicle control operations.