NASA is already stood up a UAS Integration project and is committed to helping the FAA determine the issues and resolution of those issues for integrating UAS aircraft in the NAS. Notably, Congress has directed FAA that it must have a plan in place for civilian use of UAS in the NAS by 2015. The result of the phase II effort will be accessible by NASA analysts in all NASA laboratories without charge, and can be used in NASA fast-time systems (such as the Airspace Concepts Evaluation System—ACES—or the Multi Aircraft Control System—MACS—or any other fast-time system) to represent UAS vehicles in the virtual world. Combined with a companion project that is underway at IAI to product machine-readable UAS performance files, a NASA analyst will have all the tools at his/her disposal to properly conduct the required research. In addition, NASA researchers can use the future data sets produced by this phase II project in combination with the performance files produced by our companion project to represent UAS aircraft in human-in-the-loop (real-time) systems such as the Air Traffic Operations System (ATOS) or even the Future Flight Simulator (virtual tower) at NASA/Ames
The non-NASA commercial applications include analyses by private research organizations along the same lines that that government is conducting. We would expect that UAS manufacturers will use our projections as a basis of their own business cases for building UAS aircraft, or for the analysis of how their UAS aircraft will mix with other UAS or piloted aircraft. We would also expect that large airports and airport consultants will use our demand files as "background traffic" when they study the future growth at large airports. While the UAS flights that we project in phase II may not themselves be using large airports, many of them will be flying in the vicinity of large airport such that airport planners cannot ignore their flight paths when planning for future growth at large airport. In addition, large aircraft manufacturers may be interested in our projections to augment their own internal analyses or provide alternative views of future UAS flights. Although it is impossible to estimate the size of this market, it is most likely many times larger than the government investment, as tens of thousands of commercial UAS aircraft are expected to enter some use in the civilian airspace within the next twenty to thirty years.