Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations and airspace management depend on accurate weather data for safe, sustainable, affordable and accessible services. Accurate urban weather data requires a robust, autonomous and reliable sensing and data processing system capable of detecting and communicating weather hazards in near-real time.
TruWeather Solutions (TWS) is addressing wind challenges that impact small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) airframes. TWS seeks to underpin an aviation metropolitan based weather sensing and prototype testbed architecture resulting in a Wind Hazard Impact Location Service (WHILS) to better characterize wind impacts for operators and airspace managers. WHILS will integrate into our In-Time System-Wide Safety Assurance (ISSA) platform, TruFlite V360. WHILS will inform when and where it is safe to fly, and which corridors and vertiports will provide the safest route(s) of transit and locations for terminal operations. This project will focus on low-altitude, urban environments to accelerate deployment of a robust urban wind sensing platform scalable to any urban area in the world.
We will develop our urban wind hazard framework with the goal of a proof-of-concept demonstration in Phase 2 that will highlight wind and wind shear “hotspots” of all types. We will quantify the potential impact of sensor fusion and the collected data on wind predictions using simulated observations. We will assess the influence of this service on selecting optimal routes using our route optimization capability RouteCast.
Our vision is to enhance TruFlite V360 with a low altitude urban weather model capable of detecting and predicting urban wind “hot spots” and hazards to avoid. This initial model will accelerate commercialization of an important data set to keep airframes and people safe as we test, demonstrate, and deploy initial UAS operations in urban environments in order to reach UAM Maturity Level-4.
This initiative enables NASA applications that depend on highly reliable and persistent non-government space, atmospheric and terrestrial measurements and predictions:
UAS and UAM is a “blue sky” mission area to demonstrate how weather monitoring systems, especially in urban areas, can reduce the impact of hazardous events to mission critical operations.
Our applications for this technology extend to FAA and commercial endeavors of the same mission areas that NASA is working in, namely, commercial space launches and human space travel, ATM / UAS / UTM / UAM, satellite and communication systems.
We are also looking at how cities can use urban micro weather data as part of Smart City initiatives by deploying weather sensing platforms.