Operation Last-Mile: Critical Drone Delivery Testing Report

9.3 TEST 3: Deconfliction – ​ Validate the performance of command and control solutions and automated or manual deconfliction ​ ​ procedures. Test 3 Objective: ​ A total of 30 flights were flown in Test 3. The objective of Test 3 was to compare deconfliction and delivery results when the flight teams utilized pre-programmed flights to reach and return from the drop target versus manually flying to and from the drop target. The stakes were raised during this test because all 3 teams were to fly simultaneously (the two previous tests had only one team flying at a time). Test 3 Description: ​ Airboss A directed the first half of Test #3. Dronelink software was used to pre-program each of the 3 flight team’s 5 flights, for a total of 15 pre-programmed flights. Each team flew their set of flights from beginning to end simultaneously with the other 2 flight teams. The Dronelink pre-programmed flights were used to control the aircraft takeoff and its flight to and from the target. The pre-programmed flights paused automatically over the target to allow the RPIC and VO to coordinate the manual drop of the package. After the package was dropped, the pre-programmed flights resumed, which brought the drone back to the takeoff area where it hovered until the RPIC manually landed the drone. Airboss A had pre-programmed the Blue team’s flights to go out and back at 175 feet. The Green team’s operating altitude was 200 feet and the Yellow team’s operating altitude was 225 feet. This pre-programmed separation was intended to assist with deconfliction. Airboss B directed the second half of Test #3. DroneSense software was used to show the pilots the target location on a map. The pilots flew to and from the target manually at an altitude directed by Airboss B and the flight team handled the package drop manually. Return flights were also flown manually. DroneSense allowed the Airboss to see a dashboard showing a map of the real-time location of each drone and the camera view from all 3 drones simultaneously. This provided the Airboss B a central place to view the status of all the flights in addition to his physical proximity to the crews and radio communication. Airboss B manually deconflicted flights for this half of the test. Test 3 Location: ​ Each flight crew was assigned one set of drop locations. Yellow was assigned targets 1-1 through 1-5. Green was assigned 2-1 through 2-5. Blue was assigned 3-1 through 3-5. Each flight crew took off and landed in their respective landing areas in front of their canopies at the Launch 2 Area. Each team delivered a package to each of their 5 targets under both Airboss A using Dronelink and Airboss B using DroneSense.

Because all 3 crews were operating at the same time and flying all over the campus, this was a test of airspace deconfliction.

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