NASA Tests Technologies to Increase Drone Uses

Photo: NASA/David C. Bowman

NASA researchers and drone industry representatives foresee a day when small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are used in wildfire spotting, precision agriculture, wildlife monitoring, and small package delivery.

NASA’s small UAS Traffic Management (UTM) project engineers are working to develop concepts, technologies, and procedures to overcome challenges keeping drones from more widespread use. Researchers at NASA Langley are using remotely piloted Tempest planes to develop technologies and procedures to allow small drones to fly beyond visual line of sight over sparsely populated areas, and testing autopilot performance and how the planes react in adverse conditions.