When you think of NASA you probably think of the missions to the moon or the International Space Station but the agency has plans to start conducting some work closer to the Earth’s surface soon.
The agency’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is working on research and implementation of Urban Air Mobility or UAM for the coming years. NASA defines UAM as “a safe and efficient system for air passenger and cargo transportation within an urban area,” said a release from NASA. These include small package delivery, like drone or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) deliveries, and other services that could be controlled from onboard, on the ground or could potentially be autonomous.
Not only is NASA working on developing these technologies as it has for the past six or so years, but it’s also working to create more successful management of those technologies. Part of this was done through the UAS Traffic Management project that was started in 2015. The hope is that this research will allow smaller drones to fly low but also safely in an area of the sky that isn’t typically regulated.