August 6, 2022


An Unmanned Community

Airspace Management System Supports UAS Flights at RIMPAC 2022

Airspace Management System Supports MQ-9 UAS Flights at RIMPAC 2022Airspace Management System Supports MQ-9 UAS Flights at RIMPAC 2022

Vigilant Aerospace has provided a demonstration FlightHorizon COMMANDER airspace management system to the US Air Force in support of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 exercise taking place in Hawaii and near Southern California, US. 

FlightHorizon COMMANDER is an airspace management and detect-and-avoid system based on two licensed NASA patents. The system can be used on the ground or onboard aircraft and is designed to help keep Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) safe and to avoid collisions.

FlightHorizon COMMANDER is used to correlate and display air traffic and other data from a wide variety of sources including ground-based and airborne sensors, civilian air traffic data, military data and proprietary data sources. It is dual-use technology that provides automatic traffic warnings and deconfliction as a built-in function.

RIMPAC 22 marks the historic, first-time participation of the US Air Force MQ-9 UAS in the exercise. According to the US Air Force statement on the flights, “RIMPAC 2022 marks the first appearance of the MQ-9A Reaper, a remotely piloted aircraft, and its presence brought in military teams from California, New Mexico and Nevada. With personnel from both the active-duty element, Reserves and Air National Guard, the collective group ensures that it is fully operational. Everyone learns new techniques that they will take to improve their day-to-day operations upon returning home.”

“Vigilant Aerospace is thrilled to support this large-scale exercise. The capabilities being demonstrated on land, sea and air require unprecedented coordination across multiple domains and with multiple nations’ armed forces. Support of this exercise is an especially useful demonstration of the multi-sensor and multi-data source capabilities of FlightHorizon and the ability to track hundreds of targets simultaneously,” said Kraettli L. Epperson, CEO of Vigilant Aerospace. “We are especially excited to support the US Air Force’s historic MQ-9 flights and other uncrewed aircraft systems during RIMPAC. Using the latest technology for both command and control and for safety helps demonstrate this year’s theme of ‘Capable Adaptive Partners’.”

FlightHorizon includes a 3D moving map display for air traffic situational awareness, air navigation charts, weather data, special features for the tracking and safety of UAS and automatic detect-and-avoid functions.

The product is based on two licensed NASA patents and has been used in ongoing NASA supersonic projects, in FAA detect-and-avoid projects and in leading-edge civilian UAS projects around flight corridors and droneports. The company holds a US Department of Defense IDIQ to support military adoption of the system for UAS and airspace safety.