Article

Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 41-55

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

A Reference Software Architecture to Support Unmanned Aircraft Integration in the National Airspace System

  • Curtis W. HeiseyAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory Email author 
  • , Adam G. HendricksonAffiliated withDepartment of the Army, Project Manager’s Office: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PM UAS), Unmanned Systems Airspace Integration Concepts (USAIC)
  • , Barbara J. ChludzinskiAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • , Rodney E. ColeAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • , Mark FordAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • , Larry HerbekAffiliated withDepartment of the Army, Project Manager’s Office: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PM UAS), Unmanned Systems Airspace Integration Concepts (USAIC)
  • , Magnus LjungbergAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • , Zakir MagdumAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • , D. MarquisAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
    • , Alexander MezhirovAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
    • , John L. PennellAffiliated withDepartment of the Army, Project Manager’s Office: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PM UAS), Unmanned Systems Airspace Integration Concepts (USAIC)
    • , Ted A. RoeAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory
    • , Andrew J. WeinertAffiliated withMIT Lincoln Laboratory

Abstract

This paper outlines an architecture that provides data and software services to enable a set of Unmanned Aircraft (UA) platforms to operate in a wide range of air domains which may include terminal, en route, oceanic and tactical. The architecture allows a collection of command, control, situational awareness, conflict detection and avoidance, and data management elements to be composed in order to meet different requirement sets as defined by specific UA platforms, users, and operating regimes. The architecture discussed is based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) with open standards on the interfaces between elements. Services may include common situational awareness, sense and avoid, weather, data management and flight plan information. Service contracts specify quality of service, interface specifications, service description metadata, security provisions, and governance. Pieces of the architecture have been implemented by MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the form of a Sense and Avoid (SAA) testbed that provides some of the core services. This paper describes the general architecture and a SAA testbed implementation that begins to realize that architecture and quantifies the benefits. The proposed architecture is not directed at a specific program but is intended to provide guidance and offer architectural best practices.

Keywords

Unmanned Air vehicle Sense and Avoid Service Oriented Architecture Testbed Reference architecture