As part of a new research arrangement with the US Federal Aviation Administration, GE Aviation this fall will test a trajectory-based flight management system for unmanned aircraft systems in simulations and in flight.

Simulations will take place at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, from this fall and will continue for two years, according to GE.

The company's participation will include adapting its FAA-certificated Boeing 737 flight management system to achieve reliable trajectory-based control of UAS and will include demonstration flights of an AAI Shadow UAS before year's end.

AAI has also signed a co-operative research and development agreement with the FAA and with GE for the work, which will include simulations of the interaction of manned and unmanned aircraft in the US national airspace system (NAS).

From a broader standpoint, the FAA says it is using modeling and simulation activities to "establish a technical and operational UAS performance baseline" and to explore the impacts of UAS on the NAS going forward.

Work at the technical center will also include UAS pilot performance during both normal and contingency operating conditions as well as workload, response during unplanned events, interactions with air traffic control and human-machine interface issues.

"Consideration must be given to the latencies and procedural accuracies associated with the remote pilot component of UAS performance," says the FAA. "The performance baseline that is established through these activities will assist the FAA in determining differences between manned and unmanned aircraft operations and flightcrews."

Source: Flight Daily News