NASA Selects Black Swift Technologies’ UAS to Explore and Monitor Volcanoes to Improve Air Traffic Management Systems and the Accuracy of Ashfall Measurements

With a legacy of delivering reliable, robust, and highly accurate small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), NASA has awarded Black Swift Technologies (BST), a specialized engineering firm based in Boulder, CO, the contract to develop and deliver a purpose-built scientific platform to explore volcanoes in order to improve air traffic management systems and the accuracy of ashfall measurements. BST will deliver to NASA a tightly integrated sUAS solution consisting of an airframe, avionics, and sensors specifically designed to measure selected gases and atmospheric parameters including, temperature, pressure, humidity, and 3D winds as well as more advanced measurements such as particle sizing and trace gases.

Based on BST’s commercially available SuperSwift™ airframe and SwiftCore™ Flight Management System—which have been proven in the field to provide a cost-effective, powerful, and easy-to-operate—the SuperSwift™ XT [figure 1] is specifically engineered to meet the demands of high altitude flights through strong winds and damaging airborne particulates typical of nomadic scientific field campaigns in harsh environments.

“NASA and similar scientific agencies require deliverables with a high degree of accuracy and reliability,” emphasizes Jack Elston, Ph.D., CEO of Black Swift Technologies. “The SuperSwift™ XT will be designed to collect data in harsh environments and will enhance the performance and utility of NASA’s Airborne Science fleet.”

Member organizations of NASA’s Airborne Science Program can all benefit from the measurements provided by this system in various atmospheric conditions using different sensor payloads which, by design, are easily interchangeable. The sUAS will provide targeted, in situ observations from previously inaccessible regions that can significantly advance NASA’s…

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