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SAN DIEGO (August 2, 2022) – Vigilant Aerospace announced on Tuesday that it has provided a demonstration FlightHorizon COMMANDER airspace management system to the US Air Force in support of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 exercise, currently going on in Hawaii and near Southern California.

FlightHorizon COMMANDER is an airspace management and detect-and-avoid system based on two licensed NASA patents. The system can be used on the ground or onboard aircraft and is designed to help keep uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS or drones) safe and to avoid collisions.

RIMPAC 22 marks the historic, first-time participation of U.S. Air Force MQ-9 UAS in the exercise.

From the US Air Force statement on the flights: “RIMPAC 2022 marks the first appearance of the MQ-9A Reaper, a remotely piloted aircraft, and its presence brought in military teams from California, New Mexico and Nevada. With personnel from both the active-duty element, Reserves and Air National Guard, the collective group ensures that it is fully operational. All the while, everyone learns new techniques that it will take to improve their day-to-day operations upon returning home.”

Read more from the US Air Force statement: Total Force Teamwork Leads to RIMPAC Success

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise involving more than 40 ships, 30 UAS and 150 aircraft from 27 partner nations. The 2022 exercise takes place late June to early August.

“Vigilant Aerospace is thrilled to support this large-scale exercise. The capabilities being demonstrated on land, sea and air require unprecedented coordination across multiple domains and with multiple nations’ armed forces. Support of this exercise is an especially useful demonstration of the multi-sensor and multi-data source capabilities of FlightHorizon and the ability to track hundreds of targets simultaneously,” said Kraettli L. Epperson, CEO of Vigilant Aerospace.

FlightHorizon COMMANDER is an airspace management system used to correlate and display air traffic and other data from a wide variety of sources including ground-based and airborne sensors, civilian air traffic data, military data and proprietary data sources. It is dual-use technology that provides automatic traffic warnings and deconfliction as a built-in function.

“We are especially excited to support the US Air Force’s historic MQ-9 flights and other uncrewed aircraft systems during RIMPAC. Using the latest technology for both command and control and for safety helps demonstrate this year’s theme of ‘Capable Adaptive Partners’,” said Epperson.

FlightHorizon includes a 3D moving map display for air traffic situational awareness, air navigation charts, weather data, special features for the tracking and safety of uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) and automatic detect-and-avoid functions.

The product is based on two licensed NASA patents and has been used in ongoing NASA supersonic projects, in FAA detect-and-avoid projects and in leading-edge civilian UAS projects around flight corridors and droneports. The company holds a US Department of Defense IDIQ to support military adoption of the system for UAS and airspace safety.

FlightHorizon COMMANDER demonstration system (Non-US Air Force) tracking air traffic in Hawaii – 2022.

The company recently announced a partnership with Pierce Aerospace to integrate UAS Remote ID and Military ID tracking into FlightHorizon: Pierce Aerospace Announces Partnership with Vigilant Aerospace, Integrating Remote ID into NASA Licensed Flight Safety Technologies – Vigilant Aerospace Systems, Inc.

According to an official RIMPAC post from July 10, “RIMPAC builds relationships between global partners to ensure maritime freedom for all, including in the sky. More than 170 military aircraft are participating in #RIMPAC2022.”


The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971. Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, approximately 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will train and operate in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, June 29 to Aug. 4. Following RIMPAC’s theme of Capable Adaptive Partners, RIMPAC forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities, projecting the inherent flexibility of maritime forces and helping to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific. Learn more about RIMPAC here: RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) — U.S. Pacific Fleet (

About Vigilant Aerospace

Vigilant Aerospace is a leading developer of detect-and-avoid and airspace management software for uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The company’s product, FlightHorizon, is based on two NASA patents and uses data from multiple sources to display a real-time picture of the air traffic around a UAS and to provide avoidance maneuvers to prevent collisions. The software is designed to allow UAS to safely fly beyond the sight of the pilot. The company has had contracts and users at NASA, for FAA projects and with a variety of drone development programs. To learn more, visit


Featured in:
Vigilant Aerospace Supports RIMPAC 22 Maritime Exercise with FlightHorizon COMMANDER for Historic UAS Flights,” sUAS News; 2 August 2022.
Airspace Management System Supports UAS Flights at RIMPAC 2022,” Unmanned Systems Technology; 3 August 2022.
Vigilant Aerospace supports RIMPAC 22 maritime exercise with Flight Horizon Commander for historic UAS flights,” sUAS News; 2 August 2022.


Photos Sources: US Air Force –

(18) RIMPAC on Twitter: “#RIMPAC builds relationships between global partners to ensure maritime freedom for all, including in the sky. More than 170 military aircraft are participating in #RIMPAC2022. Take a look at a few of the 🇺🇸🇨🇦🇦🇺🇯🇵 aircraft and aircrew sharing the #Hawaiian tarmac this week⬇️” / Twitter

(18) RIMPAC on Twitter: “A #RIMPAC first 👏 A @USAirForce MQ-9 landed at @MCB_Hawaii to participate in #RIMPAC2022. The MQ-9 will provide partner nations a wealth of intelligence and also participate in a ship sinking exercise. 💪✈️🚢 #USAF #AlliesAndPartners #CapableAdaptivePartners” / Twitter

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