NASA has launched the final stage of its national traffic management system for drones, the last part pf a four-year effort.
The plan sets out to test UAVs operating BVLOS in cities for the first time.
According to a report from the Associated Press, multiple drones took to the air at the same time above downtown Reno this week in a series of simulations testing the tech.
David Korsmeyer, associate director of research and technology at NASA’s research center in California, said: “This activity is the latest and most technical challenge we have done with unmanned aerial systems.”
He added: “When we began this project four years ago, many of us wouldn’t have thought we’d be standing here today flying UAVs with advanced drone systems off high-rise buildings.”
The AP report detailed how an autonomous drone took off on Tuesday from the rooftop of a five-story casino parking garage and landed on the roof of another out of view across the street.
It hovered as onboard sensors adjusted for gusty winds before returning close to the center of the launchpad.
Equipped with GPS, others flew at each other no higher than city streetlights but were able to avoid colliding through onboard tracking systems connected to NASA’s computers on the ground.
This new round of tests continuing this summer mark the first time simulations have combined all those scenarios for BVLOS operations.