UND, and other universities partner with Applied Aeronautics, Iris Automation, Sagetech Avionics to enhance UAS safety, inform right-of-way rules

GRAND FORKS, September 6th, 2022. – The University of North Dakota’s John D. Odergard School of Aerospace Sciences (UND) has received additional funding from ASSURE  for continued research into Right of Way rules using technologies associated with autonomous flight

To support this effort, UND is working collectively with the University of Kansas and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University using Iris Automation and Sagetech Avionics’ Detect and Avoid solutions for cooperative and noncooperative traffic within the Applied Aeronautics Albatross UAV platform.

The FAA’s ASSURE program is the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence. The program’s mission is to provide high-quality research and support to autonomy stakeholders to safely and efficiently integrate autonomous systems into the national and international infrastructure, thereby increasing commerce and overall public safety and benefit.

ASSURE is comprised of 25 of the world’s leading research institutions and more than a hundred leading industry and government partners.

Ultimately, this ASSURE research will help define the rules necessary for right-of-way traffic for autonomous aircraft to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), below 400 feet above ground level, within the national airspace system. These efforts may potentially assist in modifying the existing FAA rules for commercial UAS operations.

The research will provide key insights for how the UAS pilot can make safe and effective decisions when receiving conflicting traffic alerts, and help define the operator’s responsibility for situational awareness for both cooperative and noncooperative aircraft. The goal is to eliminate any ambiguity and enhance safety considerations for various aircraft sizes, crewed or uncrewed.

Three separate geographical locations have been identified across the U.S. to test the Albatross UAV and other UAVs against various flight scenarios using different types of aircraft, crewed and uncrewed. Simulation and flight testing will be completed in 1½ years, with the report to be delivered to the FAA in 2023.

“It is exhilarating to see — and an honor to be a part of — ASSURE universities and the UAS industry, collaborating together to find solutions to integrate UAS into the national airspace system.”

Paul Snyder, the project lead and director of the UAS Program at UND

About University of North Dakota John D. Odergard School of Aerospace Sciences

UND Aerospace is a world-renowned center for aerospace learning, nationally acclaimed for our achievements in collegiate aviation education, atmospheric research, space studies, and earth system science and policy research. With more than 500 faculty and staff members, 1,800+ students from around the world, and myriad programs and projects, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is setting the pace for the future of flight. Visit aero.und.edu/aviation/.  

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. Visit erau.edu

About University of Kansas

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. The university’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. Visit ku.edu

About Applied Aeronautics

Applied Aeronautics is an aerospace manufacturing company best known for its lead product, the Albatross, an affordable, modular, long-range drone system. Applied Aeronautics creates tailored solutions that address mission-specific challenges by enhancing their drone platforms with advanced capabilities like object tracking, detect and avoid sensors, encrypted communications, and GPS-denied navigation. Flown in over 55 countries, Applied Aeronautics drones are used for diverse applications in both the military and commercial sectors. Visit www.appliedaeronautics.com.

About Iris Automation

Iris Automation is a safety avionics technology company pioneering on- and off-board perception systems and aviation policy services that enable customers to build scalable operations for crewed and uncrewed aircraft; unlocking the potential of countless industries. Iris’ Casia system runs either onboard the aircraft or in a ground-based configuration. We work closely with civil aviation authorities globally as they implement regulatory frameworks ensuring BVLOS is conducted safely, partnering on multiple FAA ASSURE and BEYOND UAS Integration Programs and Transport Canada’s BVLOS Technology Demonstration Program. Visit www.irisonboard.com.

About Sagetech Avionics

Sagetech Avionics is an aerospace technology company empowering safe flight in crewed and uncrewed aircraft with certifiable situational awareness solutions. 

Currently serving military and civil duty on a broad range of UAV platforms, Sagetech solutions are mission-proven and offer decades of program experience, certifications, and millions of flight hours to deliver maximum value over the life of an unmanned platform. Today, Sagetech is expanding its technology platform to create comprehensive, certifiable systems such as detect and avoid solutions. 

Every day, Sagetech works in concert with its extensive ecosystem of OEM customers, technology partners, and resellers to ensure UAVs fly safer with Sagetech on board. www.sagetech.com.

More information, Contact: Tom Dennis, UND’s Associate Director of Communications tom.dennis@und.edu / 701-777-6746

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