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Simulyze commercializes UAS tech proven in gov sector

By Luke Geiver | February 18, 2016

After 15 years providing operational intelligence technology to several U.S. government agencies, Kevin Gallagher saw an opportunity to translate his previous success at providing situational awareness into the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry. Gallagher, CEO of Virginia-based Simulyze Inc., a software technology developer, has spent the last two years working with several of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration UAS test sites along with other UAS entities like NASA to enable commercial-scale operations. Input from UAS industry experts, along with the company’s experience, has spawned a new technology specific to the UAS industry called Mission Insight. The product is an extension of a similar offering developed and in existence since 2002 used by the DOD and Homeland Security.

Mission Insight, the trademarked off the shelf system, can process multiple data streams and reports at more than 1,000 reports per second. The system provides a commercial UAS operator with situational awareness that includes information of a platforms location, the locations of multiple (thousands) objects, weather, telemetry and other flight specific metrics. Because Gallagher developed the system for multiple end-users, it is designed to provide flexibility for multiple types of input streams and data processing systems. During flight, it is also able to safeguard data for users ranging from farmers to national security agents.

“The product grew up in a lot of the government and DOD intelligence programs,” Gallagher said. “We built a commercial product to be able to put all types of data together for analysts, operators and commanders.”

Time spent in ground control rooms for satellites and other aircraft or marine vessels revealed to Gallagher that there was a gap in the various data processing and display platform technologies. After creating a system that unites several data systems into one platform and operating it commercially since 2000, Gallagher realized the same system could be applied to UAS. He calls the industry, “an ideal candidate.”

Although the early interest in the UAS commercial industry has revolved around platform design, ground stations and sensors, Gallagher said his team saw the same data processing gap that existed in the intelligence gathering space. “A lot of data sets have to be brought together and you have to monitor that in real time,” he said.

To enable commercial operators and their fleet managers to fly economically and safely, the Simulyze team has worked hard to make the system usable out of the box, he said. “It has to be easy to handle all the data,” he said. “To really enable effective operations you have to work with the data and multiple aircraft.”

The company said the Mission Insight system can be deployed in a variety of operational environments, ranging from enterprise server systems to low-bandwidth single users. The system can run in low-bandwidth environments and can process data in real-time. The analytics capabilities of the system allow it to make simple calculations like distance and proximity to more complex analysis like terrain identifications and line of sight intervisibility.

The unit could be installed quickly, Gallagher said, noting that his team does provide training. “We work closely with anyone that wants us too.”

The team is currently working on several projects with various entities, including the test sites and other UAS parties, he said. “As everybody does, we wish things were moving faster and you could enable more commercial flights,” he said. “We think our product can enable operators.”