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SBIR/STTR

Windhover Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Software Ecosystem, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The safety of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) flights is currently the responsibility of the pilot who is required to keep the vehicle within their line of sight (LoS). However, many UASs are capable of increasingly autonomous operation. As autonomy pushes against this boundary it is inevitable that the LoS requirement must be replaced with onboard intelligence to sense and avoid trouble without pilot intervention. The software making these decisions must be developed and tested to standards that ensure reliability and safety. Robust development, test, and operations tools will ensure quality development, adequate testing, and insightful operations of UASs. Windhover proposes to build upon their Phase I efforts to create a complete ecosystem of flight and ground software, as well as processes and standards for achieving the levels safety needed for operations of small UASs. The newest UAS operators are solving problems in their respective industries. They need a robust UAS software development tool chain that provides access to vehicle control in a safe manner that their existing IT resources and software personnel are already familiar with. Application developers building on the Windhover infrastructure use the entire tool chain to create robust test campaigns. The onboard test agent and ground automation provide a rich scripting environment that facilitates the efficient creation of multi-level test campaigns for verification and validation. These application test campaigns are built upon the pedigree of the Windhover framework that has been developed and tested with the same tool chain. Our Windhover software ecosystem will enable an exponential rate of innovation in the UAS software market and lead to novel solutions to the problems facing the integration of small UASs into the National Airspace (NAS). The Windhover ecosystem will become the defacto standard for safely developing, testing, deploying, and operating UAS applications in the NAS. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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