The U.S. Army was looking for a way for a minimally trained field operator (FO) to control their unmanned aircraft (UA) safely, easily, and effectively (SEE). To develop SEE, Kutta’s engineers asked the following?

  1. How does the main operator safely handover a UA to a minimally trained FO?
  2. How do you prevent the FO from flying the UA outside the radio frequency line of sight of the main control station and creating a lost-link issue?
  3. How do you prevent the UA from flying into terrain?
  4. How do you bound the aircraft to air traffic control (ATC) airspace and area restrictions?
  5. What features makes it easy for the minimally trained operator to be effective?

To make it safe, simple and effective (i.e. a point and click operation) for the FO, Kutta created an autonomous system.  Kutta first designed a DO-178-based Safe Airspace Management System. The SAMS consist of a DO-330 qualified tool and auto router. A user utilizes the qualified tool to generate an approved geofenced area called a Safe Airspace Volume (SAV). The SAV is uploaded to the UA for supervised usage in accordance with the U.S. Army’s STANAG 4586 Interoperability Profiles (IOP). Once the SAV is loaded on the unmanned aircraft (UA), the Safe Airspace Management Auto-router (SAMA) utilizes the SAV to autonomously navigate within the geofenced area (See picture below). This architecture allows the UA to avoid controlled flight into terrain, avoid no fly zones, stay within radio frequency line of site of the control station, and maintain approved airspace and area limits. This is useful for fully autonomous flight and when the FO needs LOI 4 control of the UA to accomplish a mission. Reference (BDRVT link)_ features that allow the FO to SEE control the UA.

The solution is a vehicle independent. It is currently fielded on the Army’s Shadow Program of record UAS and demonstrated on small UAs. Contact us today to see how this solution could make your unmanned system safer!