This project consists of instrumenting a Cessna 182 to compete in NASA’s UAS Centennial challenge, scheduled for September. The challenge consists of flying autonomously through a series of predefined waypoints while using ADS-B data to avoid other airplanes flying nearby. The aircraft operates as a surrogate UAV, with a safety pilot onboard. The aircraft can transition between normal and autonomous operations with the flip of a switch. The outcome of this challenge is to further advance the technologies necessary for the integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System. The aircraft is being flight tested to optimize mission performance.
The Cessna 182 is undergoing a re-organization of all the on-board electronics as well as of its ground station. The current capabilities of the aircraft are being enhanced to meet industry standards of communication and interchangeability.