Search Dryden

Go

Research

Text Size

04.14.05

HALE ROA in the NAS FY 2004 Accomplishments

NASA's High-Altitude, Long-Endurance Remotely Operated Aircraft in the National Airspace System (HALE ROA in the NAS) project has brought together NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the UAV National Industry Team (UNITE) to systematically develop policies, procedures and technical standards to enable remotely or autonomously operated aircraft to fly safely, reliably and routinely within the nation's civil air space. Formally established in early 2004, NASA's HALE ROA in the NAS project is the prime mover in the collaborative government-industry Access 5 project, which seeks to integrate such unmanned aircraft, often called ROAs or UAVs, into the national civil airspace via a four-step process.

HALE ROA in the NAS was officially kicked off in May, 2004 after NASA's Aeronautics Mission Directorate committed about $103 million to the project over a five-year period. In addition, industry members of the consortium are contributing about $36 million in funding or in-kind services to the effort. It is anticipated that present funding commitments would enable the first two steps of the four-step process to be completed in about five years.

The HALE ROA in the NAS project was officially established in May 2004 after NASA's Aeronautics Mission Directorate committed about $103 million over a five-year period to the project. In addition, industry members of the consortium are contributing about $36 million in funding or in-kind services to the effort. It is anticipated that present funding commitments would enable the first two steps of the four-step process to be completed in about five years.

First year funding of about $8.4 million was devoted primarily to detailed project planning and development. Over the course of the first eight months, the project made significant progress in a number of areas, including securing funding commitments from NASA and industry, fostering critical relations for project engagement, producing a number of technical documents, creating a "one voice" entity for the various interests involved, and participating in a variety of ROA/UAV-related activities.

Secured major funding commitments
  • $103 million from NASA
  • $36 million from industry
Fostered critical relationships between government agencies and and industry
  • Four government agencies involved -- NASA, DoD, FAA and DHS
  • Established a formal working relationship under a Joint Sponsored Research Agreement between NASA and the six industry members -- AeroVironment, Aurora Flight Sciences, Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman
Established vital relationships with other government and aviation associations
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Joint Planning & Development Office
  • Airline Pilots Association
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Air Traffic Controllers Association
Secured key role on an integral aviation standards-development committee
  • Serving as co-chair of RTCA Special Committee 203 that is addressing ROA/UAV command, control and collision avoidance standards
Produced more than 20 technical documents in four months
  • Researched and compiled for NASA review:
    • Classification position paper
    • Experimental certification process and requirements
    • Detect, See & Avoid Equivalent Level of Safety (ELOS) definition
    • Standards development plan
  • Defined current standards for voice latency, quality and availability
Created one voice for ROA/UAV civil airspace access issues
  • More than 90 government and industry experts agreed to executable plan
  • More than 100 participants attended the FY04 project review
Participated in a variety of UAV/ROA activities
  • Conferences and exhibitions
    • FAA Town Hall
    • Unmanned Vehicle Systems International European and Far East conferences
    • Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference
    • AIAA Unmanned Unlimited conference panel
    • FAA New Technology Workshop panels
    • Unmanned Vehicles/Shephard press conference
  • Demonstrations of UAV/ROA capabilities
    • Observer at DHS/GA-ASI demonstration of Mariner UAV in Alaska
    • Developed FAA-accepted process to request observation of ROA/UAV operations at FAA Air Route Traffic Control Centers