uAvionix, a provider of avionics solutions for both crewed and uncrewed aircraft, has secured a contract from the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) to spearhead the development of the Skyway UAS range in proximity to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The agreement entrusts uAvionix with the task of devising a centralized network for Command & Control (C2) and Detect & Avoid (DAA) services, pivotal for facilitating Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations among nodes along the Skyway. Leveraging their SkyLine Cloud-based service – the cornerstone of their recent FAA exemption for BVLOS operations in North Dakota – uAvionix plans to implement integrated C2 and DAA systems, comprising radar, ADS-B receivers, computer-vision technologies, radios, and aviation weather monitoring systems at various locations along the Skyway. These systems aim to ensure situational awareness and uphold airspace safety.
Christian Ramsey, Managing Director for Uncrewed Aviation and Aviation Networks at uAvionix, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “Working with OAIRE and partners on the deployment of this range near Tulsa, OK represents another great opportunity for us to integrate our technology and support a growing base of customers conducting regional BVLOS operations.”
The Skyway Range initiative stems from endeavors initiated under the Tulsa Regional Advanced Mobility (TRAM) Cluster. In a collaborative effort in the summer of 2023, OSU partnered with Tulsa Innovation Labs and the Osage Nation to establish the LaunchPad Center for Advanced Air Mobility at Oklahoma State University (OSU), aiming to interconnect the Osage Nation and its Skyway36 Droneport in Tulsa with OSU and two additional nodes in the region.
Dr. Jamey Jacob, OAIRE Executive Director, emphasized the significance of the partnership, stating, “This partnership and the Skyway Range expand opportunities for a variety of companies both large and small and represents a significant step toward developing and testing advanced air mobility (AAM) technologies that will benefit the region and nation.”
Once completed, the Skyway corridor will link OAIRE’s primary UAS test facility at OSU’s Unmanned Aircraft Flight Station with the Osage Nation Skyway36 Droneport and downtown Tulsa. The range aims to provide companies involved in UAS for cargo and passenger transport the opportunity for testing and development, including scalable BVLOS operations. Long-term ambitions involve expanding the network to encompass sites statewide and establishing a comprehensive testing capability across Oklahoma.