Near Earth Autonomy secures NASA award to advance safe UAS flight

November 10, 2016  - By

Near Earth Autonomy, a specialist in autonomy solutions for unmanned aircraft, will support NASA’s mission to introduce unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace (NAS). The contract was awarded through the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

Under this award, Near Earth will develop and demonstrate technologies that enable safe unmanned aircraft operation in the case of unexpected contingency situations. The SBIR award is in partnership with NASA Langley Research Center.

A Near Earth test UAV. (Photo: Near Earth)

A Near Earth test UAV. (Photo: Near Earth)

UAS have the potential to impact modern society by providing efficient solutions for tasks such as surveying crop fields, inspecting large structures, and delivering packages and cargo; as well as taking on dangerous tasks such as fire-fighting and search and rescue.

Under the NASA award, Near Earth is developing an autonomous contingency system that will provide the UAV the ability to deal with wind disturbances, loss of power, and engine and sensor failures. The ACS will be a fully autonomous system that can discover and adapt to changes in unpredictable environments, while accomplishing the mission goals, with minimal or no human involvement.

“As unmanned aircraft are taking on these complex and hazardous conditions in low altitudes, it is essential to have the technology onboard that will identify the contingency, adapt to the situation, and make the necessary modifications for a safe and successful mission,” says Sanjiv Singh, CEO of Near Earth Autonomy.

The SBIR will build on Near Earth’s prior NASA-supported research centered on the perception and planning for small UAS, including Safe50, which enables safe and robust  flight, particularly during the first and last 50 feet of the take-off and landing phases.

Near Earth Autonomy will exhibit its developments at the UTM Convention 2016 at Booth 119.

This is posted in Featured Stories, Latest News, UAV/UGV