ANRA Technologies is a global unmanned traffic management (UTM) leader, with a suite of solutions designed to incorporate state of the art technologies to facilitate safe commercial drone operations. Las Vegas -based Switch is a technology infrastructure corporation, with a deep expertise in data centers and technology solutions. Together, ANRA and Switch will work with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) to demonstrate and validate UTM technology.
ANRA, Switch, and NIAS are the recipients of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) contract by the FAA: the FAA awarded $848,685 towards an overall contract of $1.79 million.
The project is a solid step towards making UTM a reality. “ANRA and Switch will leverage hybrid cloud computing mechanisms, a state-of-the art UTM platform, data-driven analytics and The SwitchSIGHT command centers to simulate thousands of simultaneous UAS flights,” says an ANRA press release. “Our team’s aim is to realistically test our UTM system to a level that has never been tested before, in order to create the most realistic UTM and BVLOS ecosystem ever attempted.”
The project will “evaluate performance thresholds, mitigation strategies, operational constraints, and system requirements for scalable operation of commercial small UAS (sUAS),” says the release. “Additionally, the project will also provide insight into redundancy, bandwidth, cost estimates, compute, and data storage requirements to operate the UTM safely and securely on a national scale in a scalable and cost-effective manner.”
Projects like this contribute globally to the data needed in order for aviation authorities to implement unmanned traffic systems. As drone market and usage predictions soar, authorities must evaluate future technologies for a future – and more crowded – environment in the skies. Simulation environments that can model, as ANRA says, “thousands of simultaneous UAS flights” can add to real world demonstrations in evaluating systems that will work even after the drone industry has grown to its full potential.