UAV usage has proliferated in the US national airspace, and there is a requirement for UAVs to be able to alert proximal traffic about their presence and intent. We propose the development of a miniature VHF radio annunciator that broadcasts simple position, status and intent messages using standard air traffic terminology. These messages can be readily heard by local air traffic and controllers using current (legacy) VHF airband communication radios, thus enhancing the overall safety of the system. Also, a ground-based annunciator is proposed, which can be used to meet ground-node requirements of the FAA's RemoteID rules for FAA Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs). In Phase I, we will develop and demonstrate these devices, further refining proof-of-concept hardware built and tested in 2020. In Phase II, the design will be refined and prototyped, and comprehensive flight testing will be undertaken.
NASA conducts tests of UAV technology which involve routine flights of UAVs. The proposed automated airband radio (AAR) can be used to enhance the safety of such operations.
The automated airband radio can be used for all sizes of UAVs, emerging urban air mobility vehicles, and civil and military aircraft. It can be used to reduce overall pilot workload, and serve as a backup during emergencies where the pilot may be incapacitated.