Wednesday, March 12, 2014; 6:30pm-8:00pm
Sandbox Suites, Santa Clara, CA

Unmanned Aerial Systems in the National Airspace System

Eric Mueller
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA

Unmanned aircraft systems integration into the National Airspace System.

Unmanned aircraft systems integration into the National Airspace System.

It’s been widely reported that the FAA was mandated by Congress to integrate UAS with the national airspace system (NAS) by September 30, 2015. However, the goals the FAA has set for NAS access by that date are out of sync with the aspirations of many UAS operators and hobbyists. The set of safety standards for sense-and-avoid systems and command and control communications links will apply only to large UAS operated by major organizations (e.g. the Department of Defense, NASA, General Atomics and Northrop Grumman) capable of equipping their aircraft with cutting edge technologies. Integration of the smaller, inexpensive UAS that promise to revolutionize the NAS will take many more years according to the current plan. In this talk NASA lead researcher Eric Mueller will outline the major challenges related to integrating UAS with the NAS, focusing in particular on the sense-and-avoid system that is a critical contributor to ensuring safe separation between aircraft. He will also describe the approach NASA is taking to develop solutions to these challenges in partnership with industry and other government organizations. Eric will conclude with a discussion of the remaining challenges to “full UAS integration” that would enable entirely new airborne applications and industries, and will invite audience discussion on technologies that may contribute to solving these problems.

About the speaker

Eric Mueller has worked as an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Ames Research Center since 2000 in the Aviation Systems Division. He received his BSe from Princeton University and Masters from Stanford, both in aerospace engineering. His research has included air traffic management modeling and simulation, hybrid rocket propulsion, UAV access to the air traffic system, spacecraft handling qualities, and simulation analysis related to the use of datalink and trajectory automation to improve air traffic operations. He is currently the Project Engineer for the Separation Assurance – Sense-and-Avoid Interoperability element of NASA’s UAS-NAS Integration project, leading a team of a dozen engineers researching methods for ensuring UAS remain safely separated from other users of the National Airspace System.

Meeting Details

6:30 – Check-in, networking
6:50 – Welcome – SVSC and AIAA SF
7:00 – UAS in the NAS  – Eric Mueller, NASA Ames
8:00 – Networking, extended Q&A
8:30 – Wrap-up


Sandbox Suites
3295 Scott Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Main door to building is in the parking lot, not Scott Blvd.  The door has a large Sandbox Suites logo on it.

Map: Sandbox Suites, Santa Clara (Google Maps)

Space is limited for this program.
To reserve your spot, register on EventBrite at:

The event is free, but we appreciate on-site donations to the TechTalk Food Fund to keep the neurons firing.