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LATAS

Right now, tens of thousands of drones pose a potential safety risk to pilots of manned aircraft. There is no way for drone operators to check if their airspace is clear of hazards before flying, be notified of airspace restrictions for their area, or safely avoid manned aircraft during their flight. Without a system to govern UAV operations, we are presented with a major danger to any pilot or passenger in the air.

PrecisionHawk drones we used at a testing event for LATAS.

PrecisionHawk drones we used at a testing event for LATAS.

LATAS is an air traffic control system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that provides collision avoidance, flight planning, and tracking/replay abilities to pilots of UAVs. A detailed portfolio piece can be found on the DXLab website, and the system’s capabilities are detailed at the LATAS website.

My involvement in this project was to develop a complete software prototype of the system, including a backend API and a web client for pilots to track/manage flight operations. The backend API interfaced directly with our hardware prototype, which involved working closely with our embedded developer/engineer both technically and from a product management perspective. I helped coordinate our efforts on the systems and contributed to embedded development and testing when needed, as well as establishing low-level timelines to make sure we met our high-level goals/deadlines.

I also represented our client at multiple investor/partner meetings to demonstrate the capabilities of the system, as well as traveling to NASA to test our integration into their efforts. Our team also demonstrated the system to media outlets as well, getting featured in Bloomberg Business and attracting other media attention throughout the development process.

LATAS_testing

An early photo of the prototype LATAS system during our first flight test. I developed the full software stack, including an API used by the embedded hardware and the web client.

 

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