NASA’s first-of-kind tests look to manage drone in cities

Business

NASA’s first-of-kind tests look to manage drone in cities

By SCOTT SONNER Associated Press

May 23, 2019 11:44 AM

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In this May 21, 2019 photo, two drones fly above Lake Street in downtown Reno, Nev., on, as part of a NASA simulation to test emerging technology that someday will be used to manage travel of hundreds of thousands of commercial, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages. It marked the first time such tests have been conducted in an urban setting.


Scott Sonner

AP Photo


RENO, Nev.

NASA has launched the final stage of a four-year effort to develop a national traffic management system for drones, testing them in cities for the first time beyond the operator’s line of sight.

Multiple drones took to the air at the same time above downtown Reno this week in a series of simulations testing emerging technology that someday will be used to manage hundreds of thousands of small unmanned commercial aircraft.

NASA officials say it’s the most complicated technical challenge they’ve faced since the simulations began in 2015.

Similar tests have been conducted in remote and rural areas. The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized individual test flights in cities before but never for multiple drones or outside the sight of the operator.

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