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Tuesday, May 12 • 10:30am - 11:15am
Building the Right System to Manage Drone Traffic

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Leveraging a history of airspace management innovation, NASA recognized the need to manage disparate drone operations at a scales never before seen. Thus, we invented the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) System. I will describe the evolution of UTM from its white paper phase around 2014 through flight tests this summer with dozens of industry partners in Reno and Corpus Christi. We had to juggle deadlines, budgets, public visibility, and the expectations of multiple stakeholders. All the while trying to build a software-heavy system that a) met stakeholder goals and b) was feasible for operational deployment (two surprisingly different things). Our plan was to roll out UTM based on the operational environments the system needed to manage, starting with low-risk operations and progressing to dense, urban drone traffic. What we ended up with, namely a federated architecture of multiple service suppliers collaboratively managing the airspace, was definitely not what we started with. It also was not something that any of us could have imagined from the outset. Only through building out an MVP, iterating with stakeholders, and testing the system in the field could we have reached our end product. This presentation is the story of that journey from an architectural perspective.


Joseph Rios

Dr. Joseph Rios currently serves as the Chief Engineer for NASA’s UAS Traffic Management (UTM) project. He has been with NASA since 2007 and his work generally focuses on computational and data issues related to the National Airspace System. He has worked on large-scale optimization... Read More →

Tuesday May 12, 2020 10:30am - 11:15am EDT
Salon 9/10 Rosen Plaza Hotel

Attendees (1)