AFWERX integrates uncrewed traffic management to enhance safety, security Published June 29, 2023 By Tim Tresslar AFWERX WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- AFWERX and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate have installed an Uncrewed Aircraft System Traffic Management, or UTM, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Equipping Eglin AFB’s Duke Field with the Collaborative Low-Altitude UAS Integration Effort, or CLUE, is the next step in AFWERX verifying that current air traffic management systems can ensure complete safety as drones and electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft take flight. AFWERX and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate have installed an Uncrewed Aircraft System Traffic Management at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Equipping Eglin AFB’s Duke Field with the Collaborative Low-Altitude UAS Integration Effort is the next step in AFWERX verifying that current air traffic management systems can ensure complete safety as drones and electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft take flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.) Photo Details / Download Hi-Res At Duke Field, AFWERX and the 413th Flight Test Squadron will evaluate and test military and commercial UTM systems such as CLUE, as well as other related technologies and sensors. The testing will focus on evaluating the UTMs’ capabilities for deconfliction, communication and security as well as low-altitude weather and beyond visual line of sight operations, Divakaran said. “Eglin is going to be one of our primary proving ground location for multiple efforts across AFWERX Prime, including airspace efforts supporting Agility Prime and Autonomy Prime,” Divakaran said “Our focus will be to have situational awareness up to 12,000 feet mean sea level. We will have additional proving ground locations across the nation in partnership with agencies such as the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation and NASA. We are also focusing on true public-private partnerships as we accelerate these efforts.” Phil Zaleski, CLUE program manager, oversaw the CLUE system’s installation at Duke Field. Additionally, AFRL/RI has provided a field service representative at the field to manage the system on a daily basis and provide training and demonstrations, Zaleski said. Once the system was set up, AFWERX was able to demonstrate its capabilities with a drone simulator. Maj. Mike Corson, 418th Flight Test Squadron commander, and Capt. Terrence McKenna, AFWERX Agility Prime test and experimentation lead, perform a pre-flight check on a Joby S4 aircraft. The Joby S4 is a five-seat electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. (Courtesy photo) Photo Details / Download Hi-Res Future testing at Duke Field will involve different UAS models, though they all will weigh less than 70 pounds, a size that allows them to fly more often and with fewer restrictions, said Maj. Riley Livermore, 413th FLTS future flights commander. This will provide validated data, before they integrate eVTOL, larger UAS and other advanced air mobility aircraft.