Inside GNSS: NASA Leveraging TerraPoiNT for BVLOS UAM Testing In GPS-Denied Environments

Renee Knight of Inside GNSS covered our recent news with NASA’s Ames Research Center. In case you missed it, NASA will leverage NextNav’s TerraPoiNT commercial grade network to capture inflight data on drone navigation, detection and collision avoidance as part of BVLOS testing for its urban air mobility (UAM) program.

“NextNav first began working with NASA in 2018, with the TerraPoiNT network supporting CERTAIN facilities at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The team there is flying aircraft to address the PNT needs drones have in GPS-denied urban areas and is using the network to provide GPS capabilities. The Ames center has a similar need, Pattabiraman said, wanting to understand how TerraPoiNT can be leveraged for various collision avoidance and BVLOS applications.

‘You need a complementary system that can deliver PNT when GPS is not available, in addition to the cameras and LiDARs, he said. Then there’s the resiliency factor of providing PNT in the event GPS is jammed or spoofed. Drones flying in heavily populated areas at relativity low altitudes and going at high speeds need reliability to ensure there are no accidents or situations if GPS is not available. You’re not just dependent on a single point of failure.’

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