AURA Trials Demonstrate Critical Communications Links for BVLOS Operations
Wednesday, July 27, 2022 | Comments

After two days of its first-ever fixed-wing test flights in western Maryland, AURA Network Systems reported successful demonstrations of its critical communications links to assure safe operations of remotely piloted commercial flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

The testing was designed to simulate remotely piloted regional air cargo flights, which many operators plan to utilize as an early commercial application of BVLOS technology.

“Our entire AURA team is thrilled that our collaboration with DST confirms the progress we’re making,” said AURA CEO Bill Tolpegin. “It reflects our momentum and underscores why we’ve designed our network to provide safe and reliable command and control (C2) links encompassing command data, telemetry data and our own air traffic control (ATC) voice solution.”

Company officials said the flights, conducted in conjunction with Hagerstown aviation integration, testing and training company DST, confirmed three years of engineering development that included significant on-ground testing. The evaluation featured a demonstration of AURA’s safety-critical Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) links by outfitting a DST aircraft with an AURA airborne radio and voice communications module. Both AURA and DST officials lauded the results.

AURA Chief Network Officer Mike Gagne, who directed the demonstration, explained, “Our two-day testing confirms our private network is capable of meeting federal requirements assuring safe operations of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in controlled airspace,” said AURA Chief Network Officer Mike Gagne, who directed the demonstration. “We’ve simulated what the future of air transportation will look like by utilizing our proprietary air interface and introducing services like ATC voice relay, C2 and detect and avoid.”

Gagne credited AURA’s network and engineering teams for demonstrating a pathway for the company's partners to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) voice requirements. The company plans to continue its flight testing during the National Advanced Air Mobility Industry Forum August 22-23 in Springfield, Ohio.

“We are excited to be at the tip of the spear in supporting AURA’s disruptive technologies to more quickly usher in the future of remotely piloted aircraft operations,” said DST CEO Dana Smith. “Our role has been to integrate AURA antennas and sensors on our aircraft and help provide a real-world simulation for their unique technologies.”

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