Safety in Flight: Lockheed Martin Technology Will Help Enable Safe Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations


With the economic impact estimated in the billions, providers and consumers are eager to begin using unmanned aircraft systems for a wide range of applications in the U.S. – from precision agriculture and infrastructure inspection to delivery of emergency medical supplies and news gathering.

In response to the increasing demand, Lockheed Martin has deployed the first operational components of a UAS Traffic Management (UTM) infrastructure in the FAA’s National Airspace System (NAS).  This infrastructure provides essential capabilities to enable safe UAS operations and provides the framework for increasingly sophisticated UTM capabilities as the complexity of UAS operations increases over time.

Historically, UAS operators have reported operating areas via phone and general aviation pilots are informed of those areas only through textual descriptions included in pilot briefings.  Using Lockheed Martin’s UTM capabilities, UAS operators can now report operating areas online.  Pilots are informed of the operating areas with easy-to-understand graphical depictions included in briefings, as well as through Lockheed Martin’s Adverse Condition Alerting Service and regional maps that depict all known UAS operating areas.

“Civilian applications of unmanned aircraft systems is a rapidly increasing trend and we are committed to providing new technologies to help enable safe UAS operations,”said Jim Derr, director of aviation services in the Transportation and Financial Solutions program area for Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions.

The new traffic management capabilities are part of the flight service system Lockheed Martin operates on behalf of the U.S. government.  Lockheed Martin Flight Service provides flight plan filing, briefings, in-flight support, search and rescue and many other services to more than 50,000 general aviation pilots per week.

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March 11, 2015