Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and other non-traditional airspace operations present a new set of challenges to operators and air navigation service providers (ANSPs). In addition to meeting existing requirements for aircraft operational control and safety, operators will need to maintain operational control over their aircraft at all times, eventually without a pilot-on-board to monitor flight systems and control the vehicle. Future aircraft will possess vastly different performance envelopes and often fly in different environments, at lower altitudes with even less predictable weather, and more diverse aircraft. Concepts to overcome these challenges will require extensive planning before receiving approval for operational use.
Individual components of a UAM network have been active topics of research, but the community lacks the ability to evaluate how these components will work together. This requires a test environment that emulates operator monitoring and control systems, realistic traffic patterns and density, data on the operating environment to include urban geography and low altitude weather, and the flexibility to accommodate different vehicles. We propose the creation of an integrated Dispatch flight planning and monitoring tool, built off Robust Analytics’ past work creating flight monitoring dispatch tools. The City Air Mobility Evaluation Operations Suite (CAMEOS) would combine flight planning and operational control tools for this nascent industry as it begins to offer flights and increase fleet sizes, integrated in a Dispatch flight monitoring tool.
As a new, untested fusion of new aircraft, business models, and operating environment, UAM requires extensive end-to-end testing and demonstration before the FAA will allow operators to provide services. CAMEOS aims to provide an important development and test capability to NASA researchers and potential operators as they experiment with new concepts, vehicles, and traffic management technologies. CAMEOS can accelerate milestone achievement by delivering to NASA an integrated operational test environment.
In addition to assisting NASA UAM research, our concept can be used by potential operators to analyze vehicles, concepts, and business models before making large investments. Our test environment will help them to develop and validate operational control requirements and solutions, thereby enabling possible early deployment of UAM operations.