Ever wonder if we’re getting closer to integrating drones into the National Airspace?

Craig Marcinkowski is the Director of Strategy and Business Development for Gryphon Sensors. Gryphon develops commercial sensor systems for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). Leveraging six decades of expertise in radar and electronic surveillance sensor research and development from parent company SRC Inc., the company provides innovative multi-spectrum solutions in the drone security and UAS integration markets.

Gryphon Sensors is one of the companies working with the FAA on NAS integration. Earlier this year, the company demonstrated “Skylight”, a system that integrates a diverse sensor suite to track objects. A wide variety of drones were flown at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to test the capability of the system to detect, track, classify and display threats. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Craig talks about the Skylight System, the demonstration, the work that Gryphon Sensors is doing to safely integrate drones into the national air space, and he’ll give us a glimpse of what’s happening with this critical FAA initiative.

In This Episode

  • [02:21] Introduction. Craig Marcinkowski is the Director of Strategy and Business Development for Gryphon Sensors.
  • [02:34] Company Background. Gryphon develops commercial sensor systems for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). The company was spun out of SRC, an independent, not-for-profit, research and development corporation chartered by the state of New York and founded in 1957. SRS applies science, technology and information to solve grand challenge problems in the areas of defense, environment and intelligence.
  • [03:35] Skylight. Craig talks about Gryphon Sensors’ Skylight and Mobile Skylight Systems. Skylight system uses multiple ground-based sensors to detect cooperative and non-cooperative targets in the airspace, providing intelligent situational awareness for integration and security. Skylight combines multiple technologies to provide the most comprehensive, clear airspace picture. Mobile Skylight is a new standard in drone security and unmanned aircraft system (UAS) traffic management. Featuring an array of self-contained sensors, it serves as a complete mobile command center for many applications. Contained in a sleek, rugged van, Mobile Skylight features 4×4 off-road capability and can be taken anywhere without a commercial driver’s license. In April, 2017, Gryphon Sensors demonstrated Skylight at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). A wide variety of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) craft were flown in an operational airport environment to test the capability of the system to detect, track, classify and display threats. Craig shares the results of the test and potential uses of the system.
  • [07:27] Differentiators. There are other companies working on systems designed to manage the airspace. Craig explains Gryphon’s multi-layered approach to sensing objects and how that sets Gryphon Sensors apart.
  • [08:28] System Roll Out. Craig talks about some of the challenges and opportunities in rolling out a traffic management system on widespread basis. While many people want to see faster progress, the FAA must consider how the technology will overlay onto the existing system.
  • [09:18] Other Projects. Craig talks about some of the other projects that Gryphon Sensors is involved with, namely, beyond visual line of sight operations, the managing operations along a 50-mile autonomous use corridor in New York.
  • [12:04] FAA and NAS Integration. In the few years that Gryphon sensors has been around, working with the FAA has improved.  Craig sees a much more positive working relationship with FAA on integration, which was not always the case.  Full integration will take more time to evaluate options to ensure the technology will work across all levels.  The technology is there, but now companies need to prove that they have a reliable solution that will work.
  • [16:37] Role in the Marketplace. Gryphon Sensors provides unique data in the air space, particularly at low altitudes.  With the emergence of drones, the need for situational awareness in this space has grown.  Gryphon responds by provide that unique, 3-dimensional low altitude data that isn’t available in the marketplace.
  • [18:33] Closing. Craig shares with us his optimistic view of drone industry today and what we might look forward to in the future. He sees several major companies investing in the systems to achieve integration with the NAS.

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