The Ikhana remotely piloted aircraft flies a research mission. (NASA Photo/Carla Thomas)

NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System, or UAS in the NAS, project is attracting international attention as increasingly complex flight tests take place over NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. The project is designed to develop recommendations for the FAA to safely open the skies to allow UAS to fly in the same airspace with human-piloted aircraft.

Using NASA’s remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft as a demonstration platform, the flight tests determined how the UAS dealt with 21 intruder encounters, each one different from the others. Future tests will generate information that will be helpful in developing UAS-related standards for use with a new Airborne Collision Avoidance System that will support the FAA’s Next Generation Transportation System.