AURA Successfully Demonstrates Critical Communications Links to Assure Safe Operations of Commercial Flights Beyond Visual Line of Sight

Proprietary Air Interface Utilizing Licensed Aviation Spectrum Simulates Future of Air Transportation with Remotely Piloted Aircraft

McLean, Virginia, UNITED STATES

McLean, VA, July 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After two days of its first-ever fixed-wing test flights in western Maryland, AURA Network Systems (AURA) reported successful demonstrations of its critical communications links to assure safe operations of remotely piloted commercial flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

The testing was designed to simulate remotely piloted regional air cargo flights, which many operators plan to utilize as an early commercial application of BVLOS technology.

Company officials said the flights—conducted in conjunction with Hagerstown aviation integration, testing and training company DST—confirmed three years of engineering development that included significant on-ground testing. Last week’s evaluation featured a demonstration of AURA’s safety-critical Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) links by outfitting a DST aircraft with an AURA airborne radio and voice communications module. Both AURA and DST officials lauded the results.

“Our entire AURA team is thrilled that our collaboration with DST confirms the progress we’re making,” noted AURA CEO Bill Tolpegin. “It reflects our momentum and underscores why we’ve designed our network to provide safe and reliable command and control (C2) links encompassing command data, telemetry data and our own air traffic control (ATC) voice solution.”

AURA Chief Network Officer Mike Gagne, who directed the demonstration, explained, “Our two-day testing confirms our private network is capable of meeting federal requirements assuring safe operations of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in controlled airspace. We’ve simulated what the future of air transportation will look like by utilizing our proprietary air interface and introducing services like ATC voice relay, C2 and detect and avoid.”  

He particularly credited AURA’s network and engineering teams for demonstrating a pathway for the company's partners to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ATC voice requirements. The company plans to continue its flight testing during the National Advanced Air Mobility Industry Forum held August 22-23 in Springfield, Ohio.

DST CEO Dana Smith echoed the AURA comments: “We are excited to be at the tip of the spear in supporting AURA’s disruptive technologies to more quickly usher in the future of remotely piloted aircraft operations. Our role has been to integrate AURA antennas and sensors on our aircraft and help provide a real-world simulation for their unique technologies.”

Tolpegin also said, “AURA has positioned itself at the center of functional and regulatory solutions integrating remotely piloted aircraft into controlled airspace. We remain determined to deliver our industry a certifiably safe and reliable communications network.” That approach has led to a four-year FAA cooperative R&D agreement and two Space Act agreements with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

About AURA Network Systems

AURA is on a mission to deliver an FAA-compliant nationwide network utilizing unique, licensed aviation spectrum to accelerate advanced levels of autonomy in the National Airspace System. Its vision is to empower the aerospace industry’s pioneering technology solutions that improve accessibility and safety, drive economic expansion and further environmental sustainability—while transforming the concept of aviation for crewed and remotely piloted aircraft. AURA’s frequencies in the 450 MHz band have extraordinary propagation characteristics ideal for secure and reliable communications. The company’s technology increases the commercial viability of autonomous operations. See for more information.


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