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NASA's Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations (STEReO) project has been awarded the 2022 POPULAR SCIENCE “Best of What’s New Award”
(Dec 15, 2022)
The STEReO project, led by the Human Systems Integration Division’s Airspace Operations Lab (AOL), was awarded the "2022 POPULAR SCIENCE "Best of What’s New Award" in the Emergency Services and Defense category.

Recent wildfire disasters throughout the US have shown that the scale and complexity of these events is growing, leading to increased loss of life, property and natural resources. Existing wildland firefighting response is characterized by extensive manual collaboration across multiple agencies with limited communication infrastructure, while still producing safe and effective operations. It became apparent that new technologies, like STEReO, could bring valuable contributions to the tasks of monitoring and managing the complicated airspace above these events. STEReO builds on existing NASA technologies and expertise in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM), Autonomy, Communications and Human Factors to provide a scalable, flexible and operationally-resilient emergency response framework to assist firefighters and vehicle operators during wildfires and natural disasters. The STEReO team is developing software and other technologies to complement the use of sophisticated Unmanned Airspace Systems (UAS), or drones, as part of our nation’s disaster-response capabilities.

In the Spring of 2022, the NASA STEReO team field-tested their UASP-kit, which was developed in partnership with the US Forest Service. The UASP-kit provides enhanced airspace awareness to UAS operators by displaying Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) tracks of nearby aircraft and alerting the teams to potential encroachments on the planned operating areas. NASA is hoping this suitcase-sized device will be an effective tool for future disaster response.

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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: September 11, 2023