Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, 29 August 2023 – uAvionix, operating at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) Emerging Aviation Technology Center, completed the first true Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight in non-segregated airspace using aviation protected C-Band in the United States. Serving as the Command and Control Communications Service Provider (C2CSP), uAvionix completed the historic flights for CNO, FAA and industry leaders to demonstrate the effectiveness of combining Command and Control (C2) link management and situational awareness for Detect and Avoid (DAA) through the company’s SkyLine software service offering. The flight, a culmination of a multi-year effort involving engineering, operations teams and regulatory review, heralds a significant advancement for UAS operators and businesses seeking to commercialize scalable UAS operations such as medical and package delivery, linear utility inspection, and emergency management.
“The SkyLine software provides link management and detect and avoid services across multiple frequencies and data inputs to form the cornerstone of an FCC and two FAA BVLOS waivers,” said Paul Beard, founder and CTO of uAvionix. “It is the only C2CSP service designed to RTCA DO-377A and DO-362A standards for aviation, and enables us to fly without chase vehicles, visual observers, or requiring other nearby aircraft to have their own detect and avoid sensors on board. It is truly a brilliant piece of engineering and operations by the uAvionix team.”
uAvionix recently received FCC approval, coordinated with the FAA, to operate its airborne and ground radio stations on C-Band for command and control during BVLOS flights. Managed by the SkyLine cloud-based software service, the SkyLink airborne and SkyStation ground-based radios assured uninterrupted and optimized communication with the aircraft across the largely unimproved terrain of the CNO UAS test site which is similar to conditions often found by businesses performing utility inspections or long range medical and cargo delivery.
The C2CSP system for the Super Volo aircraft used in the flight included the uAvionix muLTELink5060 airborne radio and four SkyLink5060 ground radios deployed across the 44,500+ acre UAS test site. The SkyLine system continuously monitored each link between the ground stations and aircraft to optimally determine the best link for reliable command and control. When needed, the system proactively completed make-before-break connections to switch between available ground stations, while detect and avoid data from terrestrial sensors deployed in the UAS test range delivered situational awareness to the Remote Pilot in Command.
“The forethought, innovation, and technical knowledge of uAvionix are evident throughout this historic operation,” noted James Grimley, Executive Director for the Choctaw Nation Oklahoma Emerging Aviation Technologies Center. “Our purpose at the test site is to derive value for the CNO by enabling businesses to see and evaluate UAS technologies that will meet their operational needs for BVLOS flights. With uAvionix, we are able to demonstrate a complete system for C2 and DAA that is aviation-grade, approved by regulators, easy to deploy, doesn’t rely on third-party communication networks, and infinitely scalable. Together we have created a technical and operational system that is the foundation for others to safely operate UAS for a variety of safety critical, long range and higher altitude missions that will deliver economic and cultural value in our communities.”
uAvionix was founded with the mission of bringing safety solutions to aviation that accelerate the integration of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) into National Airspace Systems (NAS). uAvionix offers innovative, low SWaP TSO-certified and uncertified avionics and services for General Aviation (GA), Defense and UAS markets. The team consists of an unparalleled engineering and management team with a unique combination of experience within avionics, surveillance, airport services, UAS aircraft development, radio frequency (RF), and semiconductor industries.
To learn more about uAvionix crewed and uncrewed products and services, please visit: www.uavionix.com
Defense specific applications can be found at www.uavionix.com/defense/
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About the Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 220,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage and traditions, please go to https://www.choctawnation.com/.