A university is collaborating with a company to conduct a multi-flight campaign at Spaceport America.
Stratodynamics Inc. and research collaborators from the University of Kentucky will conduct a multi-flight campaign along with engineers from autopilot developer, UAVOS at Spaceport America starting early December.
The two-week campaign is the culmination of an experimental NASA Flight Opportunities project to validate a new method of real-time, forward sensing turbulence detection developed by the University and NASA Langley. These tests will follow COVID-safe practices. Stratodynamics goals are to demonstrate sensor performance aboard airborne platforms and to commercialize forward sensing turbulence detection technology for the Aviation and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) sectors.
“We’re looking forward to hosting Stratodynamics at Spaceport America,” said Interim Executive Director Scott McLaughlin. “The technology they are developing could make a significant difference in avoiding clear air turbulence and associated injuries in commercial aviation, as well as better characterization of atmospheric conditions for the new markets developing around urban air mobility. Unseen turbulence has always been a nemesis of aviation, and the ability to directly detect it could also someday help in smoother space tourism flights.”
Test Pilot Miguel A. Iturmendi adds, “The future of both HALE and HAPS type vehicles depend on finding the correct climb and descent corridors of atmospheric turbulent free areas. The ability to sense turbulence with Stratodynamics’ proposed technology represents a significant leap in the oldest unsolved problem of modern physics. This technology can be of great significance in the area flight safety for current operating airliners and future flights in and out the stratosphere”.
The project’s Principle Investigator, Dr. Sean Bailey of the University of Kentucky said, “We’re excited to work with Stratodynamics on this project. This is a great opportunity to learn more about a rarely explored region of the atmosphere.”
“Favorable market conditions exist for a new approach to turbulence mitigation in the commercial aviation and UAM sectors and occurrences of turbulence events are projected to increase due to climate change. Stratodynamics is once again honored to collaborate with our colleagues at the University of Kentucky and NASA to demonstrate this novel approach for turbulence detection.” said Stratodynamics Inc. CEO, Gary Pundsack.