Are NASA and the FAA leaving the UAM industry and Urban areas hanging?

I just read the NASA UAM ConOps for UML4. Unfortunately, it seems to confirm several things:

· An unreasonable and dangerous over reliance on UTM in complex environments The definition of UML 5 specifically states “UTM inspired ATM” — And that is with up to 9999 SIMULTANEOUS ops

· Inclusion of an independent “surveillance” common operating picture, warning and control system is “supplemental” or optional no matter how complex the environment

· No mention or assistance with the V2X 5G 30mhz limited bandwidth issue — Or that the RF is shared with the ground side V2X systems

· Urban and state governments are left on their own to not only figure out what the gaps are but to perform the end-state system of systems designs, create implementation plans and execute them

I was told that NASA only got involved in UAM because the FAA asked for help. Whether this is true or not, why allow for the issues I listed above? And no independent “AWACS” capability? 9999 simultaneous ops that re handled 24X7 everywhere on the planet with just UTM and every air assets deconflicting on their own? With the fact that just one mildly significant air tragedy dooms the industry, isn’t this a bit short sighted?

While no community is near UML4 yet, it is approaching. It would be one thing if a full end-state system of systems design was done and folks were just starting to tackle incremental integration and all the regulation, financial, logistics and installation work that entailed. But another to leave the need “supplemental” and leave local governments the extremely hot potato. Clearly, NASA is more than capable of getting this done? Or. . . has the IT/Silicon Valley/Agile wave got to them like it has DoD and the FAA?

I address the issues and suggested way forward in my article here

Why Silicon Valley Agile engineering approaches won’t work for urban air mobility


My name is Michael DeKort — I have worked for Lockheed Martin, the US State Department, the US Navy and in IT. This includes Software Engineering Manager for NORAD, a Program Manager for the Aegis Weapon System, C4ISR Systems Engineer for DHS/US Coast Guard and the US State Department Counter-terrorism Team and the US Navy. As well as a Systems Engineer and Project Manager for FAA Level D Flight Simulation. I am currently involved in air and ground autonomous vehicle development and testing, smart city and V2X systems engineering and simulation.

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