Jayaweera & Sun Share $1M NSF Advanced Aerial Mobility Grant

August 30, 2022

Image cycling between Jayaweera and SunECE Prof. Sudharman K. Jayaweera and ECE Asst. Prof. Xiang Sun will oversee the UNM sub-award  of a $1M National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Aerial Mobility grant.  

On May 1st, the NSF awarded a 3-year $1M grant for a collaborative research effort on Advanced Aerial Mobility: The research is being conducted by the University of North Texas and the University of New Mexico under its Resilient & Intelligent NextG Systems (RINGS) program.

Dr. Jayaweera is the Principal Investigator of the UNM sub-award of the project titled “RINGS: Mobility-driven Spectrum-Agile Resilient mmWave Communication Links for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Traffic Management in the Sky” while UNT is the lead institution. 

Dr. Jayaweera is joined by ECE Assistant Professor Xiang Sun in this project as a co-Principal Investigator.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have already found many applications from surveillance to package delivery.

In the coming years, UAVs are expected to find a whole new range of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services including air taxis and air ambulances.

The joint research team from UNT and UNM anticipates the need for innovative solutions for enhanced situational awareness in the airspace to handle such a high volume of unmanned air traffic.

This project plans to investigate strategies for establishing highly reliable and robust Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication links for coordination among the UAVs — like what traffic signals do to coordinate traffic on the roads!

The project envisions air corridor designs specifically reserved for AAM vehicles ranging from 500 ft to 2000 ft. It is an ambitious and innovative project in which the UNM team’s expertise in spectrum-agile communications, machine learning (ML), and software-defined networking (SDN) is combined with the UNT team’s expertise in UAV systems to identify minimum operational requirements for V2V communications to support such air-corridors and develop advanced software-defined radio and SDN techniques powered by AI/ML.