NUAIR Alliance and TruWeather Solutions partner with Windshape for industry advancing test flights at Griffiss International Airport
Rome, NY – Windshape, a Switzerland based company, in partnership with the New York State UAS Test Site, TruWeather Solutions and the NUAIR Alliance, used industry-leading micro-weather stimulations to test the impact of wind on the air worthiness and performance of various types of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) platforms. The testing took place at the New York State UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport, in Rome, New York.
“We know that weather impacts small drones in a variety of ways and these tests enabled us to evaluate that impact and each platform’s capacity to reject atmospheric disturbances and maintain safe flight,” said Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret), chief executive officer, NUAIR Alliance. “This information is incredibly important to the safe integration of drones in the national airspace and ultimately our ability to unlock the commercial potential of UAS.”
Windshape’s unique technology uses a fan array with numerous small fans which generate variable wind profiles. This innovative modular wind generation system enabled partners to evaluate drones within a controlled, safe and repeatable environment for air worthiness and improved platform engineering.
“Our goal is to support the drone industry by providing drone specific test solutions,” said Guillaume Catry, CEO, WindShape of Windshape. “We believe we can facilitate the drone industry by allowing manufacturers to demonstrate that their drones can overcome weather obstacles and safely achieve their mission.”
In order for the UAS industry to achieve Beyond Visual Line of Site flights and operate drones autonomously these tests are critically important to the development of systems that can perform in a variety of weather. Part of that development is knowing and being able to accurately predict weather as well.
For its part, TruWeather has developed technology to better predict micro-weather so UAS pilots can make more informed decisions and advance mission effectiveness. The more it understands how winds affect different UAV platforms the better it can tailor its micro-weather prediction to specific platforms.
“Micro weather is a primary risk to safe and productive drone operations,” said Don Berchoff, co-founder of TruWeather. “TruWeather envisions a day when weather alerts and predictions are specifically tailored for each drone. A weather simulator to test and certify drones in varying weather conditions can enable development of drone specific weather analytics to increase drone safety, productivity and revenue generation.”
WindShape will return to Syracuse for additional wind and weather impact tests including a long endurance flight experiment.
“The weather test performed by Windshape in conjunction with TruWeather Solutions and the NUAIR Alliance is a prime example of why Oneida County’s Test Site at Griffiss International Airport is on the forefront of revolutionizing the UAS industry,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Together with our partners, we continue to produce innovative research that occurs no other place in the world and is the key to unlocking the enormous potential of autonomous drones.”
The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR Alliance, or NUAIR) is a New York based not-for-profit coalition of several hundred private and public entities and academic institutions. NUAIR leads, manages, oversees, and coordinates operations at the NY UAS Test Site. NUAIR is responsible to the FAA and NASA to conduct operations for UAS testing. NUAIR is recognized as a leader in technology and applications development in building the case for safe UAS operations in the Nation’s airspace. The NUAIR staff of experienced aviation professionals provide safety, airworthiness, technical, operations, and customer support globally as well as focused operations across N.Y., Michigan, and Massachusetts. The NUAIR Alliance consortium partners provide unsurpassed expertise in aeronautical research, UAS operations, and safety management.
WindShape is a Switzerland based company that aims to solve the next major challenge of the drone industry to support a continuous growth and enable new commercial drone applications. Today, most of the time drones are still constrained to be operated manually and within visual line of sight. If drone manufacturers and aviation industry leaders are currently developing autonomous drones, they are not yet allowed to operate them because of the lack of a regulatory framework. For the future of this industry, precise regulation, including safety testing protocols have to be set up quickly. WindShape’s priority is the establish strong partnerships for the development of drone testing protocols. Once the testing protocols will be in place, WindShape will have a unique opportunity and know-how to develop service centers and provide the best testing support to the drone industry.
TruWeather Solutions (TWS) is a micro weather analytics and technology company with over 35 years’ experience in the aviation, logistics and weather services industries across the globe. TruWeather collects and fuses diverse weather data sets, and through an analytics engine, translates complex weather science into targeted insights and actionable decisions for businesses and government agencies impacted by weather and its associated costs. TruWeather’s web service platform and risk management framework drives business value to the unmanned aerial vehicle, manned aviation, logistics and emergency management industries. TruWeather’s comprehensive end-to-end solutions enable safer, more productive operations, asset preservation, lower liability risk, and greater profitability and client satisfaction.