NextNav’s 3D geolocation services have been accepted for use by NASA in its City Environment for Range Testing of Autonomous Integrated Navigation (CERTAIN) program.
The MBS system facilitates urban drone operations where satellite-based GPS signals may not be available.
Its system is used when knowing a drone’s location horizontally and vertically is critical to ensure safe operations in urban air traffic corridors.
Evan Dill, of the Safety-Critical Avionics Systems Branch at NASA, said: “NextNav’s MBS system provides us with new tools for the development of navigation systems in environments where GPS has traditionally been challenged.”
He added: “We’re looking forward to working with MBS as we develop new approaches to the operation of unmanned systems in urban environments.”
The FAA believes that by 2022 there will be over 700,000 drones delivering packages, monitoring traffic and aiding in search and rescue operations.
Ganesh Pattabiraman, co-founder and CEO of NextNav, said: “We are proud to work with NASA and integrate MBS into its urban drone operations.”
He continued: “The MBS system is designed for secure, reliable and consistent 3D Geolocation capabilities which are important for autonomous systems such as drones. NASA’s acquisition of the MBS system is an exciting milestone for MBS technology and a great partnership with NASA to address the key challenges in urban drone navigation and make it possible to explore new opportunities in unmanned operations.”