Two New York drone companies, AX Enterprize and Thales USA, were awarded a $7.75 million grant from the U.S. Air Force Research Lab to develop state-of-the-art air traffic management (ATM) systems to would allow civilian and military drones to safely coexist alongside manned aircraft in the national airspace. The project and research will be conducted at the Griffiss UAS Test Site in Rome, New York in collaboration with NUAIR, Scherzi Systems LLC and Syracuse University’s Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering and Autonomous Systems Policy Institute.

The goal of this project is to develop a system in which drone pilots can safely detect and avoid other air traffic, and to create a policy approach for data exchange models using high-definition air traffic surveillance and ground-based sense-and-avoid radar technology. This project and the research and results it yields will hopefully be a huge step forward for implementing drones safely and effectively in the national airspace.