Have you ever wondered what 100,000 drones will look like in the sky at one time? A group of University of Utah students with the Therapeutic Games and Applications Lab (The GApp Lab) are collaborating with the Utah Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration to predict what drone traffic will look like over the Salt Lake City area in 2025 with their simulation, Drone Commander.
Drone Commander is being developed by graduate students from the Master of Entertainment Arts & Engineering program: Kent Chi Pan as engineer, Junhao Fu as tech artist, Srija Kambhampati and Azhar Siddiqui as engineers, and Sritej Canchi as the producer. Each team member is participating in a Digital Fellowship with The GApp Lab, which is a division of the Center for Medical Innovation at the U.
Drone Commander is a simulation tool for drone traffic over Salt Lake City, developed to test the threshold and breaking points of overall drone traffic of air taxi, medical supply, and package delivery drones. The team will be testing the infrastructure, rules and requirements, unexpected events, and many more parameters.
“We are testing how many drones can fit into the sky at one given time before it breaks,” Kambhampati said.
The team has completed the research phase and is in the transition phase and will continue to work with UDOT and the FAA. Canchi has big expectations for the Drone Commander’s future. “The final goal is for the simulation to act as a standardized training tool for all air traffic controllers,” Canchi said.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2020 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.