DAA — State of Play
Ballroom, Level 400
Dallas Brooks, Director, Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, Mississippi State University
Jonathan Daniels, CEO, Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Inc.
Ally Ferguson, Director, Airspace Research, PrecisionHawk
Jarrett Larrow, Aerospace Engineer, FAA Flight Operations Branch
Edward Lester, Chief UTM Architect, AiRXOS
Jay Merkle, Executive Director, FAA UAS Integration Office
The ability to detect-and-avoid (DAA) obstacles, including manned and other unmanned aircraft, is one of the biggest challenges facing the drone industry today. How do we adapt one of the most basic responsibilities of a pilot flying a manned aircraft for drones? Come hear panelists discuss the evolving technologies necessary for drones to safely avoid other aircraft and what gaps still exist.
Video available here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D31v5T4-nUo )
Henderson, NV April 16, 2019 – With daily efforts being made all across the United States to push the boundaries of technology for aerospace and the advancements of innovation, two Henderson companies, Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc. (PACI) and Unmanned Systems Inc. (USI), have established another milestone for the industry and for the state of Nevada.
USI, a premier leader in unmanned aerial systems and partner of PACI, became the first Nevada manufacturer to receive a Special Airworthiness Certificate (SAC) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under its new procedures, which designates authority to Unmanned Air System (UAS) Test Sites for SAC review and guidance. “The approval of BVLOS for Sandstorm was needed to allow continued development and expansion into National Airspace. This is a significant accomplishment for USI,” said Don Bintz, President of USI.
PACI, a business cluster providing robotics and unmanned system solutions, hosted the FAA Certification team as the NY UAS Test Site affiliate for the West Coast. Southern Nevada and PACI have been an extension of the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport since 2016, and PACI’s business connections provides an introduction to the Searchlight Airpark, a 1200- square miles of commercial U-Space that is currently the location of Flight Safety International’s Unmanned Systems Training courses, multiple Part 107 BVLOS Waivers and the UTM Pilot Program test flights for this summer. With the network and facilities of PACI, they continue to be one of the nation’s leaders in providing the amenities and capabilities to satisfying many industry standards for testing of UAS research and development. “The Eldorado Valley has been the home of innovation in UAS airspace for commercial BVLOS operations. We started the nation’s first commercial droneport in 2015 and expanded our testing corridor to include Searchlight Airpark in 2017,” explained Jonathan Daniels, PACI’s CEO and the Airport Manager for Searchlight.
In addition, with PACI’s assistance, this has been the first civil Certificate of Authorization (COA) issued in the state of Nevada since December 2014 and the first COA issued for BVLOS along the 38-mile Eldorado Skyway between Searchlight and Boulder City. Furthermore, this COA is the first to be issued for an aircraft greater than 55 lbs. This includes aircrafts like the Sandstorm ™ UAS, initially built in 2009, the turbine-driven propeller aircraft has an 8-foot fuselage, a 15-foot wingspan and weighs almost 75 pounds, now an electric version is being processed for certification.
“This is a significant improvement to training as it will allow USI & PACI to train Remote Split Operations using Sandstorm and Longshot. We will begin procedural development immediately and conduct flight testing through the summer. Our goal is to conduct operations on Land, Air and Water – remotely,” said Mr. Bintz. Mr. Daniels was equally optimistic about the future: “As shown by recent regulatory progress by the DOT and FAA, unmanned aircraft certification will be a key component of large-scale commercial enterprise. We look forward to seeing the next round of certification projects in the coming weeks.”
About Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc.
Founded in 2011, PACI is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business based in Southern Nevada. The company’s mission is to develop practical solutions for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) robotics and unmanned systems (UxS) using a mix of proprietary technology, unique team domain expertise, and unique partnerships, PACI develops and operates laboratory and field facilities for autonomous systems research, development, test, evaluation, deployment, commercialization, and training. For more information about Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc., visit its website at www.praxisaerospace.com.
About Unmanned Systems, Inc.
Unmanned Systems Incorporated is a Small, Women Owned, Native American Business involved in Training, Testing and Developing Unmanned Aircraft. USI has been conducting Unmanned Aircraft Systems operations globally since 2003. For further information visit our website at www.usi.aero.
On March 19th, 2019, Pinnacle Solutions Inc. was awarded the $533-million cost-plus-fixed-fee Unmanned Aircraft Systems Instruction and Mission Support (UAS IMS) contract by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Orlando, Florida. Under this contract, Pinnacle will provide UAS instruction, maintenance, logistics support, prescribed load list (PLL), flight line operations support and information technology network support, for UAS training conducted at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, by the 2d Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade.
Training will be in support of entry-level U.S. Army Soldiers who will be learning to operate and/or maintain the RQ-7 Shadow and MQ-1 Gray Eagle UAS, utilizing simulation systems in a classroom environment in addition to actual flight operations. The estimated contract completion date is March 2026.
Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Incorporated (PACI) is pleased to announce our participation with the Pinnacle team, supporting with a multidisciplinary expertise and experience in safe integration of Unmanned Systems.
FlightSafety International will deliver Unmanned Aircraft Systems practical flight training in conjunction with Praxis Aerospace Concepts, Inc.
“Our Unmanned Systems Training program developed in conjunction with Praxis, will help commercial operators achieve the highest levels of safety and proficiency,” said Ray Johns, Co-CEO, President, Government and Manufacturing. “As a global leader in aviation training with more than six decades of experience, FlightSafety has the capability to develop and deliver the most comprehensive UAS training available. We appreciate and value the expertise Jonathan Daniels and his team at Praxis bring to this important new program.”
“This is a significant moment for the Praxis team. FlightSafety is ‘the’ benchmark for professional aviation education. When we first started Praxis, our founding goal was to be the ‘FlightSafety of UAS’,” says Jonathan Daniels, CEO, Praxis Aerospace Concepts, Inc.
On January 14, 2019, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced proposed new rules and a pilot project to allow unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or more commonly called drones, to fly overnight and over people without waivers under certain conditions and to further integrate drones safely into the national airspace system.
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System Pilot Project (UPP) supposed to run till September 2019, is intended to develop and demonstrate a traffic management system to safely integrate drone flights within the nation’s airspace system. Also, the pilot project will create a shared information network and gather data that can be used for future rulemakings.
PACI is uniquely qualified as a partner with the State of Nevada, with existing BVLOS approvals, an active airport that welcomes UAS, protected spectrum for command and control, and 24/7 UTM coverage. Our operational systems support flight planning, communications, aircraft separation and weather services for UTM drones, which will operate under 400 feet.
The Praxis Aerospace Cluster family of companies are service-disabled, veteran-owned, small businesses based in Southern Nevada. Using a mix of proprietary technology, unique team domain expertise and unique partnerships, PACI develops practical solutions for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) robotics and unmanned systems (UxS) that benefit from experience and “best practices.” PACI operates field facilities in the Eldorado and Piute Valleys for autonomous systems research, development, test, evaluation, deployment, commercialization, and training.
Our expertise allows us to provide services in ITAR-Restricted and Federal Services, EAR-Controlled products, International Importing and Exporting, Licensed Spectrum, Unmanned Systems Infrastructure and Integrated solutions, UAS Repair Services, Training Services, and Airport Operations.
PRAXIS (process): the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realized.
Correction: The source article “As drone use rises, Nevada colleges gear up to train new generation of pilots and programmers” incorrectly lists Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc. as the vendor for the UNLV program. The course and instructors are provided by Praxis Aerospace Concepts Incorporated (PACInc), an AUVSI Trusted Operator Program Training Provider.
Henderson, December 27th, 2018: Federal aviation officials have predicted that the fleet of commercial drones in the U.S. could quadruple in size from 2017 levels by 2022, driven by their growing use in real estate and aerial photography, surveying, agriculture inspection and many other fields.
“There’s a lot more talk about it, it’s in the news a lot more, so we get a lot more interest because of that,” said Heidi Erpelding-Welch, a program developer in UNLV’s Continuing Education department. “It’s so prevalent at this point. It’s something we saw as an additional need for workforce development.”
It’s one of the big reasons UNLV is introducing a certificate program this winter that, over two weekends, will not only prepare students for a written test to earn a drone pilot’s license but also offer an internationally recognized training program to set them apart in the field. The program emerges in a state that’s one of seven designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a drone testing site, as Nevada puts more focus on developing an autonomous technology industry and as drones becomes more ubiquitous.
UNLV used to offer drone pilot certification within its engineering program on a schedule that fit for more traditional undergraduate students. It phased out the program in 2016 to revamp it, ensuring it better fit the schedules of people who have full-time jobs already, but want to add drone flying to their skill set.
“One of the biggest fallacies is the idea of unfilled jobs where all you do is act as a drone pilot, and that’s not really the case,” said Jonathan Daniels, President of Praxis Aerospace Concepts Inc., which will host and provide the instructor and equipment for the program. ”This is a tool that will get you better at doing your job.”
The program has room for 20 students and costs $1,899. It runs on a Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday for two weekends in a row.
Students will learn the different applications of drones, the ins and outs of the regulatory system, how to read aeronautical charts, and how to operate a drone safely. For 10 hours, they’ll either operate a simulator or fly a real drone.
What makes UNLV’s program different from other classes on drones is that it’s one of the first to adhere to Trusted Operator Program certification through the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Daniels likens it to buying organic produce — there’s a difference between someone slapping the “organic” label on an apple, and the apple being the product of a rigorous set of organic farming standards.
“That provides a professional framework based on industry standards and best practices and regulation, to really target an employable remote pilot,” he said.
New York, December 20, 2018: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announced today the publication of the Standardization Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Version 1.0). The roadmap was developed by the Institute’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC), a group established to coordinate and accelerate the development of the standards and conformity assessment programs needed to facilitate the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS aka “drones”) into the national airspace system of the United States. Over 300 individuals from some 175 public- and private-sector organizations actively supported the document’s development, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), additional U.S. federal government agencies, standards developing organizations (SDOs), industry, academia, and others.
This roadmap represents the culmination of the UASSC’s work over the last 15 months to identify existing standards and standards in development, assess gaps, and make recommendations for priority areas where there is a perceived need for additional standardization including pre-standardization research and development (R&D). Topical areas covered include airworthiness; flight operations; personnel training, qualifications, and certification; and specific operations for critical infrastructure inspections, commercial services, and public safety.
Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Incorporated (PACI) is pleased to announce our participation in the UASSC, both as a corporation and in concert with our CEO’s work within ASTM.
Read more about the Standardization Roadmap for UAS in the full press release from ANSI here.
As the program rolls out, more details will be available on the ANSI UASSC page.
AUVSI TOP™ is a professional unmanned system community initiative aimed at supporting industry accepted remote pilot standards and protocols, which will result in the safe and sustainable advancement of the industry.
AUVSI has worked with more than 190 international safety experts to create TOP™ to raise the trust and acceptance of the use of unmanned aircraft globally. TOP™ uses a set of protocols constructed from many relevant standards (i.e. ICAO, ANSI, ASTM, NIST) and industry association best practices (i.e. NATE, IOGP, ASPA, HAI) to meet or exceed the aviation regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration (US), Civil Aviation Safety Authority (AUS), and several Civil Aviation Authorities (including the UK and South Africa).
All three TOP Levels are aimed at both individual remote pilots and commercial UAS organizations. Each level of certification reflects the level of skills, knowledge and safety protocols required to operate in different industries.
Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Incorporated (PACI) is pleased to announce our participation in both the Remote Pilots’ Council and the Trusted Operator Program. PACI is proud to be part of the early adopters, and the first approved TOP™ Certifying Body for Public Safety.
Read more about the Trusted Operator Program™ in this month’s Unmanned Systems magazine (Volume 36, No. 7 – October 2018) here.
As the program rolls out, more details will be available on the TOP web page.
W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., October 29, 2018 – ASTM International announced today a new partnership with Praxis Aerospace Concepts International aimed at meeting the need to evaluate the growing number of training programs for drone operators, maintenance technicians, instructors, and others in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry.
The new joint offering, the UAS Approved Training Provider Program (UATPP), will evaluate curricula of training programs to see if they are in compliance with standards. It is based on technical standards being created by a group of ASTM International members, including drone experts, manufacturers, and others in a subcommittee (known as F38.03) focused on personnel training, qualification, and certification.
Applicant organizations found to be in compliance with standards will receive a UATPP Approved Training Provider certificate. They can then market their training programs to prospective trainees as such. Each application costs $750 per training provider location seeking approval.
About ASTM International
Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. We integrate consensus standards – developed with our international membership of volunteer technical experts – and innovative services to improve lives… Helping our world work better.
About Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc
Founded in 2011, PACI is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business based in Southern Nevada. PACI develops and operates laboratory and field facilities for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) response robotics, unmanned systems (UxS). PACI uses a mix of proprietary technology, unique team domain expertise, and unique partnerships to provide clients with research, development, test, evaluation, deployment, commercialization, and training solutions across the globe.