Project Wing: Traffic Management System for UAS - Essay Sample

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Boston College
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Since the development of first Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), there has been an increase in the production as well as deployment. The increasing use of UAS has resulted in the need to develop management systems that can be used to control them in a similar manner manned aircraft effectively are controlled.

Google Parent Company, Alphabet, is currently testing their traffic management system for UAS in its department named Project Wing (Vijayan, 2017). It is an early version of a technology that can be effectively used to manage delivery systems for unmanned drones. Alphabets efforts to develop a traffic management system for UAS is motivated by its quest to deploy a fleet of UAS in the sky in the near future for tasks such as package delivery as well as pickup. Latest news from Project Wing suggests that the department has successfully conducted a test of its air traffic management system. Project Wing has been developing the air traffic management system to be employed in automatically managing flight paths.

Previously, Project Wing was one of the many organizations that participated in a series of tests carried out nationwide. The nationwide tests for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems were jointly organized by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) (Leonard, 2017). Project Wings test comprised one drone operated by Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), two Intel drones, and unmanned aerial systems that were being operated by one individual. The objective of the Project Wings test was to demonstrate how an operator of a drone, or organization was in a position to operate many drones in the same airspace without necessarily utilizing manual steering.

The organization demonstrated that their traffic management system for UAS could be used to effectively manage complex flight paths involving multiple UAS that are operating at the same time. The organizations UTM can be used for automatically planning of new aerial routes or paths for UAS every time a conflict arises. The capabilities suggest they are critical to ensuring that it is possible for various operators to launch their multiple UAS operators in future without worry of safety. The Project Wings traffic management system ensures that there is no collision.

Project Wings motivation to develop effective traffic management systems for UAS follows the race by various companies to develop product delivery systems that utilize UAS.among the companies that are at the forefront of utilizing this new technology is Amazon. Amazon intends to utilize the drones especially in the delivery of lightweight packages for customers in the near future. Currently, Amazon has tested prototypes, and it has suggested that it is going to utilize the technology only for distances not exceeding 30 minutes. Besides Amazon, a convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, have also made great strides on drone delivery front. In fact, 7-Eleven is ahead of Amazon in drone delivery after delivering a package using UAS in a fully autonomous drone delivery in Nevada. That delivery was the first ever deliveries that were approved by FAA for customer delivery within the US. Other companies that are interested in utilizing drone delivery technology include Target, United Parcel Service, and Walmart.

Project Wing focuses its efforts on delivering various capabilities such as real-time planning of UAS operating in the same area, notifications to warn operators of any hazardous conditions, and also notifications to inform operators of the need to avoid no-fly zones identified by FAA. Google is not working alone but is also collaborating with other companies especially on the kind of requirements they might need to incorporate into UTM systems. Google intends to incorporate features that will enable its UTM technology to support multiple simultaneous flights deployed in even more complex conditions.


Leonard, M. (2017). NASA tests drone traffic management. GCN, Jun 09, 2017. Retrieved from:

Vijayan, J. (2017). Google Parent Alphabet Tests Drone Traffic Management System. eWeek, June 08, 2017. Retrieved from:


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