- Final phase of a nine-year project to develop command and control data link waveform
- Creates a standards-based command and control data link for unmanned aircraft operating in civil airspace
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Feb. 13, 2020) – Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is entering the final stages of a nine-year project with NASA to enable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate safely in the National Airspace System (NAS). The project, co-funded by Collins Aerospace and which is expected to be completed in Sept. 2020, has facilitated the development of a Command Non-Payload Control (CNPC) data link waveform that informed the initial certification standards for UAS Command and Control in the NAS.
Collins Aerospace invested in a series of prototype radios to house the waveform for NASA’s flight tests. A C-Band prototype CNPC data link radio, called the CNPC-5000, was the baseline for the most recent testing and will continue to be a key component in future research and test flights for other programs.*
“CNPC is critical to maintaining positive control of UAS in complex operations within national airspace, such as flights beyond visual line of sight or above 500 feet. We’ve already applied our CNPC waveform to the FAA’s Pathfinder program with BNSF Railway,” said Heather Robertson, vice president and general manager, Integrated Solutions for Collins Aerospace. “Our CNPC-5000 data links provide the reliable, safe and secure connection needed to maintain control of unmanned aircraft at all times while operating in the complex environment of controlled airspace.”