Unmanned Aircraft System Ground Operations Management System

Period of Performance: 04/28/2006 - 04/28/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mosaic Atm, Inc.
540 Fort Evans Road, Suite 300
Leesburg , VA 20176
Principal Investigator


Aircraft operations on the airport surface, including taxiing, airfield navigation, avoidance of runway incursions, and obstacle avoidance, all require significant human involvement and decision-making. For the operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), such as the GlobalHawk, significant effort is required to survey each airfield at which the UAS will operate, and to specify detailed taxi path waypoints, which the UAS tracks using GPS guidance. A number of disadvantages exist in this approach, including the significant effort required to survey airfields and the manual human oversight required to monitor the operation of the UAS. Mosaic ATM and the University of Colorado will leverage significant research, development and deployment expertise in UAS operations and airport tower automation systems to develop a Ground Operations Management System (GOMS) for UAS airfield operations. The UAS-GOMS will provide accurate, real-time position determination on the airfield through the fusion of multiple sensor inputs available on the aircraft itself, without reliance on external navigation systems. Further, the UAS-GOMS will support higher-level automated decision-making during airport surface operations, to identify airport markings and signs, receive ATC instructions, and detect obstacles and other aircraft, to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft on the airfield.