Parimal Kopardekar, NASA AMES
Principal Investigator, Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management (UTM)
Manager, Safe Autonomous Systems Operations Project
Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management System (UTM) for Safely Enabling Low-altitude UAS operations
NASA is developing a system to safely enable low altitude unmanned aerial system (UAS) operations. The system is referred to as UAS Traffic Management (UTM). The UTM will safely enable a variety of business models and multiple operations in the same airspace. The UTM will provide services such as airspace configuration and geo-fencing, weather and wind integration, demand/capacity imbalance management, and separation management, and contingency management. The UTM research and development has been conducted in collaboration with many industry, academia, and government. The UTM system will evolve through four builds. Each build will be collaboratively tested with partners. The final prototype will be available for persistent daily use of UAS operations beyond line of sight.
Parimal Kopardekar (PK) serves as the Manager of the NASA’s Safe Autonomous System Operations (SASO) Project. The goal of the project is to develop autonomy related concepts, technologies, and architectures that will increase efficiency, safety, and capacity of airspace operations. Prior to that he managed NextGen Concepts and Technology Development Project. He has published more than 40 articles. He enjoys initiating new concepts and technology ideas that increase airspace capacity and throughput, reduce delays, and reduce the total cost of air transportation. At NASA, he has initiated many innovative research initiatives including reduced crew operations, net-enabled air traffic management, autonomy for airspace operations, Shadow-Mode Assessment using Realistic Technologies for the National Airspace System (SMART NAS), and low-altitude airspace management system focused on UAS operations. He is recipient of numerous NASA awards including Outstanding Leadership Medal and Engineer of the Year. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering and Bachelor’s degree in Production Engineering. He also serves as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Aerospace Operations.