Academia and Industry Tackling UAS Concerns Together

As part of an ongoing research partnership, two University of Maryland (UMD) entities are working with defense company BlueHalo on endeavors involving Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS).

MATRIX Lab and BlueHalo

The UMD MATRIX Lab is working with BlueHalo on a more refined approach to counter-UAS.

They will use the MATRIX Lab’s anechoic chamber, which has an extremely controlled environment, and the Open Air-Land Lab, which has a unique, RF-shielded environment.

“The anechoic chamber and Open Air-Land Lab will provide spaces for various tests during BlueHalo’s research. Both offer controlled environments with different capabilities allowing for a rapid progression through these tests all under one roof,” said Joe Copenhaver, Research Lab Manager at the MATRIX Lab.

Any external environment testing can be done through the Rooftop Antenna Farm, which creates a link between the internal and external that won’t be interfered by other signals.

UROC and BlueHalo

The UMD UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC) is working with BlueHalo on a single solution to address multiple big issues in the UAS space. UROC is providing operational and engineering expertise to BlueHalo’s scientists.

BlueHalo uses UROC aircraft to perform tests, then validates systems with the data UROC provides.

UROC utilizes autonomy during testing. The autonomous features on their systems improve the accuracy of test results.

The technology BlueHalo is developing is able to be implemented into UAS and has many important use cases not currently being addressed by the industry.

“I’ve been very impressed with BlueHalo’s capabilities. It’s been really cool from a research and testing perspective, operationally, to see their system work with UROC’s current technology,” said Grant Williams, a UAS Operator at UROC and the lead pilot on the BlueHalo project. “Seeing the future of this technology being implemented on current technology has been really interesting.”

UROC is getting creative with 3D printing and other engineering techniques in order to incorporate BlueHalo systems onto UROC drones.

These research projects are just beginning. The MATRIX Lab will provide updates as they are available for release.

Published May 13, 2024