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LM Selected To Develop FAA Road Map For Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Goldeneye-50 UAS.
by Staff Writers
Rockville MD (SPX) Sep 28, 2006
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Lockheed Martin to support the development of a "Road Map" for introducing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System. Lockheed Martin will assist the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft Program Office in refining its operating plans and budgetary requirements by creating a five-year road map of government and industry UAS initiatives.

By applying its technical, programmatic and specialized expertise in air traffic systems and airspace operations, Lockheed Martin will evaluate the current state of UAS mission needs, forecast their near-term demands on airspace capacity and chart a strategic plan to safely integrate their operations into the nation's airspace.

"Ultimately, we seek to define the demand curve of unmanned aircraft systems on U.S. airspace -that is, to clearly understand when customers will want to operate different types of platforms in a variety of operating environments," said Ken Geiselhart, Lockheed Martin project leader. "By identifying the mission needs, operating environments and platforms expected for unmanned aircraft, and then mapping them against manufacturer plans and FAA certification timelines, we seek to provide the FAA with the 'big-picture' of the emerging UAS market and its subsequent impact on the nation's airspace resources."

The current UAS market in the United States is primarily driven by government customers at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among others. Today, according to FAA, more than 50 manufacturers offer nearly 150 UAS products, with many others poised to enter the commercial marketplace.

"Lockheed Martin is uniquely qualified to lead this next-generation initiative," said Sue Corcoran, vice president of Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions. "We are dedicated to helping the FAA deliver the most modern and efficient operations to current and future users of the National Airspace System, and to continuing our active research on cutting-edge platforms, systems and technologies that will enable the evolution of the future air transportation system in the United States."

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