Ohio Federal Research Network reports results of SOARING projects

By Parallax Advanced Research | November 16, 2020

DAYTON – The Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) hosted a demonstration of its “Sustaining Ohio's Aeronautical Readiness and Innovation in the Next Generation Rounds 3 and 4” (SOARING) initiative at Springfield-Beckley Airport, during which multiple unmanned aerial systems (UAS) were successfully tested in the airfield and integrated into SkyVision.

The test results conclude that the projects successfully integrate with SkyVision and Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) other aircraft and other flight path obstacles while remotely operated by the pilot. Select projects also announced that they’ll receive additional funding from the U.S. Air Force flying orb program: Agility Prime. The OFRN and its sister program, the U.S. Air Force Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX), collaborated to help the “SOARING” projects achieve a 100%-win rate in the Agility Prime solicitation round.

The projects tested, include:

“Unmanned Aerial Vehicle DAA Sensor Fusion” by GhostWave Inc. of Columbus, Ohio demonstrates camera/radar sensor fusion for DAA on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and is a closed loop system. Its camera and radar sensor fusion are on-board the UAS, running avoidance algorithms on-board and feeding avoidance commands to the autopilot in which no ground communication or commands are involved.

“Regional Unmanned Traffic Management System” by University of Cincinnati’s UAV MASTER Lab showcases the fusion of seven UAVs into the common interface used for air traffic controller terminal automation systems which allows UAS operations to be visualized on the terminal scope amongst any manned aircraft also operating in the area. The team has also been awarded two separate Agility Prime Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards, with two new partners made through OFRN.

The projects selected to receive additional funding from Agility Prime, include:

“Geometrically-complex 3D Printed Antennas for UAVs” by Youngstown Business Incubator of Youngstown, Ohio, who connected to Piasecki Aircraft Corp in Essington, Pennsylvania - a research and development business specializing in design, fabrication and flight testing of experimental rotorcraft and UAVs – and is now working as the corporation’s sub-contractor on a U.S. Air Force Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer award by Agility Prime. The team has also created a new start up called Pathologically Complex Geometries and is submitting their own Phase 1

for Agility Prime due in November.

“Onboard, Adaptive Flight Controls and Cooperative Mission Planning” by Asymmetric Technologies, LLC of Columbus, Ohio uses Asymmetric’s IronClad Secure Flight Controller as a centralized hub to implement a multi-copter-focused onboard health monitoring capability that is directly tied to adaptive, autonomous flight control and mission planning. This capability eliminates the need for slower, ground-based decision-making. If an airspace conflict is detected, the UAS can autonomously re-route itself while also accounting for its real-time flight performance capabilities. The technology also allows for multi-UAS formation-flight or “adaptive cruise control” for UAS.

The “SOARING” initiative utilizes state funds to research and develop UAS for Ohio’s federal laboratories. From 2018 to 2019, the OFRN awarded $13.8 million to ten projects to expand Ohio’s leadership in defense and commercial aerospace research, development and sustainment of UAS.

The purpose of the OFRN is to organize and resource collaborative research initiatives within the university system of Ohio that align with and support priority mission requirements at Ohio’s four federal labs (Air Force Research Laboratory, Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Glenn Research Center and National Air and Space Intelligence Center) to grow its research talent base, attract outside public and private investment and to retain and create new jobs in Ohio.

“SOARING” involves partnerships with Ohio University, The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Wright State University, Case Western Research University, University of Dayton Research Institute, Kent State University, Youngstown State University and Sinclair Community College.

“These results represent the maturation and sophistication of the OFRN-led UAS projects and the program’s ability and commitment to meet the challenges and needs of our federal partners. Likewise, our integrating these UAS into the National Airspace System was made possible because of these partnerships,” said Parallax Advanced Research CEO Dennis Andersh. OFRN is a science and technology enhancement and commercialization program of Parallax Advanced Research.

OFRN Round 5 prerelease opportunity is being evaluated for release next year. Round 5 will focus on UAS tech and will include an open topic opportunity. Companies are encouraged to apply.

View Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PeWo3J8X6E&t=24s

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Glossary

SkyVision: a technology used to meet research and development requirements for UASs operating under Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations control in the National Airspace System. The technology is a product of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the State of Ohio Department of Transportation through its DriveOhio/FlyOhio programs.

About Parallax Advanced Research

Parallax Advanced Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Parallax tackles challenges by accelerating innovation; developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry and academia across the State of Ohio and the Nation. By building intelligent teams—composed of humans, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and other complex entities—Parallax is where everything comes together. Together with academia, Parallax accelerates innovation that leads to new breakthroughs. Together with government, Parallax tackles critical global challenges and delivers new solutions. Together with industry, Parallax develops groundbreaking ideas and speeds them to market. OFRN is a program of Parallax Advanced Research.

About the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN)

OFRN has the mission to stimulate Ohio’s innovation economy by building vibrant, statewide university/industry research collaborations that meet the requirements of Ohio’s federal laboratories, resulting in the creation of leading-edge technologies that drive job growth for our state. OFRN is a program of Parallax Advanced Research.