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 NextGen ATC & Kite Farms

In controlled airspace, Air Traffic Control, um, controls and piloting are subsumed. The trend toward increasing ATC integration over increasingly autonomous aircraft is clear. The current human PIC (Pilot-in-Command) site sUAS requirement will erode as automation proves itself as safe. Full-scale UAS will gradually master sense-and-avoid, and also solve radio-link risk. NextGen will come of age.

An attractive model for AWE in NextGen Airspace is for advanced ATC to directly control Kite Farms. This will reduce control-layer uncertainty and latency, and also promises to best balance transport efficiency, safety, and energy production. In a common instance, a large kite array might be allowed to wander downwind with any wind direction, with coordinated air traffic gracefully switching around within the empty tether scope. SDO will consist of many such maneuvers. Kite Farm ground operations would be similar to an industrial airport, supporting launch, land, and downtime, with site-based piloting limited to emergency back-up function.

CoolIP                       ~Dave Santos           May 14, 2011           M3571

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