Sense-and-avoid system flight tested on UAV

Dec. 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. reports it has completed the first flight test of a sense-and-avoid architecture and self-separation function.

The purpose of the test, which employed a company-owned Predator B unmanned aerial system, was to integrate and synchronize BAE Systems' AD/DPX-7 Identification Friend or Foe transponder with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast IN, GA-ASI's air-to-air radar, which is called Due Regard Radar, and Honeywell's TPA-100 traffic alert collision avoidance system to detect and track aircraft.

"We are working closely with the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration], NASA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and our industry alliances to advance the safe and efficient integration of unmanned aircraft systems into domestic and international airspace," said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. "Our sense-and-avoid capability is a key part of that goal, and we continue to make ongoing progress toward this end."

The company said its prototype Due Regard Radar tracked multiple targets of opportunity during the flight test -- as well as participating aircraft -- throughout 40-plus scripted encounters. Sensor data collected by these systems during the flight test will be used by the FAA and industry participants to develop and further refine their algorithms, which will in turn lead to a proof-of-concept SAA system.

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