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Technology NASA unmanned Ikhana aircraft makes history flying without escort

21:11  13 june  2018
21:11  13 june  2018 Source:   cnet.com

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15 Alan Brown, “ NASA ’s Newest Unmanned Aircraft Makes Suc-cessful First Flight,” Press Release 03-193, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., 2003. NASA research pilots Herman Posada, left, and Mark Pestana found flying the Ikhana an exciting challenge due to lack of ordi-nary physical

NASA ’s Ikhana aircraft could be the first large unmanned aircraft system to fly in the National Airspace System without the requirement of an escort aircraft in 2018 outside of Class A and Special Use Air - space .

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: NASA’s Ikhana Aircraft Prepares for Flight in the National Airspace System© Provided by CNET NASA’s Ikhana Aircraft Prepares for Flight in the National Airspace System

This isn't your grandma's drone. NASA's Ikhana aircraft looks like a full-sized airplane, but there's something important missing. There's no pilot on board.

The Ikhana passed a milestone for unmanned aircraft on Tuesday by flying in public airspace without a safety chase plane for the first time. NASA got special permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct the test flight.

a group of people sitting at a computer: NASA’s Engineers in Mission Control Monitor Ikhana Aircraft During a Test Flight© Provided by CNET NASA’s Engineers in Mission Control Monitor Ikhana Aircraft During a Test Flight

"This historic flight moves the United States one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations in the airspace used by commercial and private pilots," NASA says.

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15 Alan Brown, “ NASA ’s Newest Unmanned Aircraft Makes Suc-cessful First Flight,” Press Release 03-193, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., 2003. NASA research pilots Herman Posada, left, and Mark Pestana found flying the Ikhana an exciting challenge due to lack of ordi-nary physical

"It's like flying an airplane without four of your five senses," says NASA test pilot Mark Pestana. "You can't smell the fuel, feel the vibration or hear any noises." Pestana is sitting in the "cockpit" of the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Ikhana — a civilian version of General Atomics' MQ-9 Reaper

The plane is remotely operated by a pilot on the ground and is equipped with a host of high-tech systems that help it navigate and avoid mid-air collisions or close calls. The detect-and-avoid technologies include an airborne radar system and a satellite positioning system that broadcasts Ikhana's position to other planes.

Ikhana took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California and cruised at an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,100 meters) through airspace shared with commercial flights. It later descended to a lower altitude shared with general aviation flights.

NASA sees a future for unmanned aircraft tackling forest fires and providing emergency search and rescue services. The space agency also expects the technology could be scaled down and used in general aviation aircraft.

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68. NASA research pilot Mark Pestana prepares to fly the Ikhana unmanned aircraft remotely from the GCS at NASA Dryden. Brown, Alan. “ NASA ’s Newest Unmanned Aircraft Makes Successful First Flight.” Press Release 03-193, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., 2003.

Without this base of fundamental and applied research, the capability to fly into space would not exist. " Ikhana : Unmanned Aircraft System, Western States Fire Missions" by Peter W. Merlin (posted January 2010) The story of the Ikhana , a remotely piloted vehicle used by NASA

Ikhana is part of NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System (UAS-NAS) project, which is working on safely integrating remotely piloted aircraft into the same airspace as human-piloted ones.

NASA's remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft flying in preparation for its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft.© Provided by CNET NASA's remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft flying in preparation for its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft.

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