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Air Track/Corridor RF Scanning with Hybrid Electric LTA Orb

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-22-P-0893
Agency Tracking Number: F2D-4211
Amount: $1,250,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF221-DCSO1
Solicitation Number: X22.1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-05-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-11-06
Small Business Information
2627 Charolais Way
Arlington, TX 76017-1111
United States
DUNS: 117011828
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Tony White
 (817) 818-6111
Business Contact
 Jason White
Phone: (682) 465-5516
Research Institution

Galaxy Unmanned Systems LLC and our academic and industry partners (“Team Galaxy”) are proud to present our strategy for scanning, assessment, and mitigation of Radio-Frequency (RF) communication risks in air tracks utilizing Unmanned Hybrid Propulsion Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) Platforms.  Autonomous aerial mobility has huge potential while also arriving with a host of airspace and ground-based infrastructure issues.  Such challenges include iterative innovation cycles based on systems that can be scaled and deployed cheaply and reliably during early development in an actual operational environment.  That is, as the enabling algorithms, technologies, and infrastructure are developed, it is essential that robotic systems are tested and validated in the real world so that environmental factors are addressed from the beginning.  Ref. [1] states, “…in order to actually develop an autonomous system…to survive and successfully perform missions, [they] must be able to sense, perceive, detect, identify, classify, plan, decide, and respond to a diverse set of threats in complex and uncertain environments.”  In the Air Force (AF) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Ref. [2] the Direct to Phase II is meant to define a clear plan for the technology to demonstrate value while mitigating risk to potential DAF customers.  Galaxy is combining efforts with the University of North Texas (UNT), Unmanned Experts (UMEX), and Comsovereign to advance air mobility with meaningful real world data acquisition through a proposed series of scouting missions and scenarios conducted under parallel Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) initiatives. Air tracks are an integral part of the AAM infrastructure. They are 3D volumes of airspace reserved for AAM platforms, defined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in class B, C, or D airspace.  They are separate from other air spaces reserved for manned Air Traffic Management (ATM) and UAS Traffic Management (UTM). The FAA defines the expected performing requirements of a UAS flying in a given air track.   Multiple Vehicles flying in air tracks are expected to have sensing and communication capabilities.  These include vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications and can be used particularly to detect and avoid airspace hazards.  As the volume of UAS traffic increases over the years, air tracks also need to be capable of supporting multiple layers of air tracks.  In situations where multiple air tracks converge in one layer, intersections need to be provided for crossing skylanes. Based on the above discussion, the infrastructure needed to support air tracks can be summarized as follows: (1) GPS (2) radios supporting air-to-ground and air-to-air communications (3) sensors to detect obstacles such as birds, clouds, buildings, powerlines, and other aircraft, to name a few. Communications are primarily based on RF channels, and this is the area in which our effort will focus.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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