The modified “DROID” small UAV model aircraft in the foreground is being used as a test bed for further development of autonomous ground collision avoidance system software that was successfully flight-tested on the Air Force F-16D behind it at NASA Dryden in 2010. (NASA / Tony Landis) › View Larger Image
NASA Dryden’s DROID Aircraft Featured at AMA Expo
NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center will join more than 100 exhibitors from the model aviation industry at the Academy of Model Aeronautics 14th annual exposition Jan. 6 – 8 at the Ontario, Calif., Convention Center. NASA Dryden will show off one of its four Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone – or DROID – model aircraft that has been modified to conduct flight research experiments.
Considered the premier exposition for model aviation, AMA EXPO 2012 will offer Southern Californians an opportunity to see and purchase the latest in flying model aircraft technology, mingle with aeromodeling experts in many disciplines, listen to presentations by aviation celebrities, and enjoy a full weekend of learning and camaraderie.
NASA Dryden uses the radio-controlled DROID aircraft for high-tech flight research, pilot training for unmanned aircraft systems and NASA educational programs.
The flight research DROID aircraft was used recently as a test bed for adapting Automatic Collision Avoidance Technology (ACAT) Ground Collision Avoidance System software to simple flight systems such as those used in model aircraft to demonstrate that they may benefit from the ACAT Auto-GCAS technology.
During several presentations at the 2012 AMA EXPO, NASA Dryden’s Mark Skoog, project manager of the Automatic Collision Avoidance Technology (ACAT) Ground Collision Avoidance System development, and model shop technician and DROID remote pilot Lesli Monforton will outline how thecenter uses the DROIDs for conducting low-cost flight research and how it supported a student internship program.
The DROID flies out of AMA-chartered Muroc Model Masters club’s model aircraft flight operations area on Rosamond Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base.
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