NASA will collaborate withÂ General Atomicsâ€™ aeronautical systems business, PAE ISR and Textron‘sÂ BellÂ subsidiary on a two-year project to demonstrate commercial unmanned aircraft systems through various flightÂ missions.
The space agency said WednesdayÂ it selected the three UAS developers to conduct multiple flight demonstrations at an altitude of more than 500 feet by 2020 underÂ cooperative agreements worth up to $11.07M combined.
The contracts willÂ consist of $4.6M cash andÂ $6.47 million in-kind support.
According to NASA, its industry partners under theÂ Systems Integration and Operationalization activity will also equip UAS platforms with command-and-control and detect-and-avoid technologies.
The agency seeks to addressÂ development, integration and certification challenges that may hinder commercial drone operations inÂ the National Airspace System.
NASAâ€™s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California will oversee the project.