"The baseline BAMS RQ-4N solution includes a pilot-in-the-loop as the cognitive maneuver decision-maker using Northrop Grumman's initial Aircraft Collision Avoidance System algorithm. The ACAS software provides radar and cooperative system contact detection and tracking, which provide a recommended maneuver direction for collision avoidance while maintaining at least 500 feet of separation," the company said in a statement Monday.
Northrop Grumman is developing the BAMS system to include requirements for unmanned aircraft used by the U.S. Navy to avoid manned planes.
"As the process is tested, matures and actions can become autonomous, a Jointly Optimal Collision Avoidance algorithm will be employed on the RQ-4N as it processes conflict resolution decisions," the company said.
"JOCA works with many competing objectives such as following right-of-way rules, keeping the contact within radar field of view and ensuring there will be no new conflict with nearby traffic to expeditiously maintain separation from potential conflicting traffic. As a result, the unmanned aircraft will be able to generate more aggressive maneuvers to avoid close-in contacts without exceeding flight limits," it said.
"Our approach is based on many years of research, extensive government funding and Northrop Grumman's internal research and development efforts. ...The due regard solution proposed by Northrop Grumman is low risk and cost effective," said Carl Johnson, vice president and Northrop Grumman's BAMS program manager.
Northrop Grumman said BAMS would provide the Navy with "a persistent global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system to protect the fleet and provide a capability to detect, track, classify, and identify maritime, littoral and land targets."
"As prime contractor for the RQ-4N BAMS team, Northrop Grumman will provide the unmanned aircraft, Multi-Function Active Sensor, an active electronically scanned array radar and the Night Hunter II electro-optical infrared sensor," the company said.
Northrop Grumman is working with L-3 Communications for communications integration, Raytheon for MCS segment support, and Rolls-Royce for the aircraft engine on the project.