NAL Research and UND Aerospace partner to advance uncrewed aerial systems’ reliability, visibility and command and control with enhanced satellite connectivity

MANASSAS, V.A., and GRAND FORKS, N.D. April 24, 2024NAL Research and University of North Dakota (UND) Aerospace and are announcing today a collaborative project where NAL will provide the foundation with a suite of satellite and communication (SATCOM) products and services for its Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) Program. The project will integrate and test command and control (C2) solutions for UAS platforms conducting beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations in rural and remote areas.

Together, UND Aerospace and NAL Research will validate new C2 technologies for UAS to safely operate both within the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Airspace System (NAS), and in conflict zones where traditional GPS signals may be jammed or spoofed. The project will demonstrate how a variety of SATCOM solutions – including NAL’s Assured Position Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) offering for GPS-denied environments – can bridge the gap for UAS operations when ultra-high frequency (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) radio communications are not possible or available.

“The capabilities of UND Aerospace to conduct rapid prototyping, utilizing UND Aerospace’s Gorman UAS Airfield, along with their close alliance with the FAA and the North Dakota UAS ecosystem make this a great collaboration,” said Eric Waters, NAL Research Director of Aviation and UAS. “We are looking ahead to where this type of UAS operation, having a remote pilot in command and control, will be as safe and responsive as any crewed flight within the NAS”.

“NAL Research has a reputation for providing the most reliable and durable Iridium communication devices available, while UND Aerospace is an established pioneer in UAS Operations and Autonomous platforms,” said Paul Snyder, Director of UAS Operations and Lead for UND RIAS for Autonomous Platforms. “This project is a testament to our unwavering commitment to spearhead advancements and foster progress within the UAS Industry.”

NAL’s QuickSilver and SkyLink modems are being evaluated for use on the low Earth orbit (LEO) Iridium Certus® 100 mid-band satellite network, providing a turn-key compact SATCOM solution ideal for UAS C2 and BVLOS connectivity anywhere in the world.

Once validated, NAL’s compact QuickSilver and SkyLink modems will be available for uncrewed systems (UAV/ UAS / USV / UUV), unattended sensors, remote C2, diagnostic monitoring, telemetry, and other data transport applications.

The project will begin this month, with the integration of NAL Research’s solutions into UND’s UAS. The testing will focus on Group 1-3 UAS platforms, a classification typically associated with non-military UAS.

About NAL Research

NAL Research® leads the industry in delivering innovative, military‐grade, global SATCOM & Assured‐PNT solutions that are trusted by government and enterprise customers around the world. NAL Research has pioneered multiple miniature Iridium SATCOM capabilities for IoT and streaming solutions, with 100’s‐of‐thousands of devices in operation with our customers worldwide. NAL Research’s global communication products, coupled with its layered GPS Independent Navigation technology, make it the ideal partner for the government and industry’s toughest challenges. For more information, visit www.nalresearch.com and follow on LinkedIn or Twitter @nalresearch.

About UND Aerospace

UND Aerospace is a world-renowned center for aerospace learning, nationally acclaimed for our achievements in collegiate aviation education, atmospheric research, space studies, and earth system science and policy research. With more than 500 faculty and staff members, 2,100+ students from around the world, and myriad programs and projects, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is setting the pace for the future of flight.

UND Aerospace’s UAS Operations curriculum provides the breadth and depth of education needed to ensure graduates are prepared to work as effective operational team members of uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), while fully understanding the operational and safety environments of the National Airspace System.

Read more from UND: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7188908772562542593

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