GE Flies Into Drone Game with AiRXOS

 - June 7, 2018, 12:12 PM
GE's new AiRXOS organization will be engaged in multiple projects to facilitate the use, integration, and management of drones. Photo credit: GE

GE today launched AiRXOS, a wholly-owned company dedicated to managing ground and airspace for unmanned vehicle operations. The new company is a venture between GE Business Innovations and GE Aviation. AiRXOS announced that it has been selected for several programs to develop unmanned aircraft systems traffic management (UTM) infrastructures, advanced UAV operations, and certification/waiver automation that will “help transform the transportation ecosystem.” 

“GE already has been using drones and drone technology for some time. What AiRXOS offers is the infrastructure and advanced operations necessary to unlock the emerging markets of autonomous flight,” said AiRXOS general manager Kenneth Stewart.  

AiRXOS projects and programs include the unmanned aircraft systems integration pilot program, Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), NASA technical capability level (TCL) testing and low altitude authorization and notification (LAANC), and DriveOhio.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's unmanned aircraft systems integration pilot program is designed to help government agencies, municipalities, regional aviation authorities, and private sector operators manage and meet the challenges of safe UAS operations. Of the 10 pilot programs nationwide, AiRXOS was selected as a partner for three: the city of San Diego, city of Memphis, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. AiRXOS will work with program partners to demonstrate capabilities including urban, night, and beyond visual line of sight operations, as well as to develop overall UTM systems. 

Meanwhile, AiRXOS is collaborating with the NUAIR Alliance for an unmanned testing and rating initiative that will combine NUAIR’s new national unmanned systems testing and rating (NUSTAR) capability with AiRXOS’ autonomous service platform. While NUSTAR will objectively measure UAS performance and test systems against industry consensus standards, AiRXOS will automate the processes used by commercial operators, pilots, organizations, and drone manufacturers to engage in commercial flight operations. To support this effort, AiRXOS plans to open an office in the Syracuse, New York Tech Garden.

AiRXOS has also partnered with NASA on TCL testing and has applied for a LAANC application in support of bringing a range of UAS operations to scale. 

Under DriveOhio, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s UAS Center has invested $5.9 million in UTM research for ground and air vehicles to complement current research for autonomous and connected vehicle testing along the 35-mile-long U.S. 33 “Smart Mobility Corridor” between Dublin and East Liberty. The Ohio UAS Center will be able to conduct UAS operations such as traffic monitoring and incident response along the corridor safely in a monitored environment. With the UTM system in place, the corridor will be able to support future UAS and autonomous operations such as package delivery and air taxi services. AiRXOS is partnering with Gryphon Sensors, CAL Analytics, and Ohio State University’s College of Engineering to implement a UTM solution for the corridor.