UAV Sense-and-Avoid Tests Successful

 - January 13, 2014, 10:40 AM

UAV manufacturer General Atomics says it has successfully tested sense-and-avoid architecture and self-separation functionality that could be the key to keeping piloted aircraft and UAVs apart in the air. The recent test marked the first time the technology has functioned as a true “system of systems” to detect every class of aircraft equipage, and it paves the way for a due regard capability, that ability to avoid aircraft, objects and weather.

The test integrated and synchronized BAE Systems’ identification-friend-or-foe transponder with automatic dependent surveillance broadcast IN equipment, GA-ASI’s Due Regard air-to-air radar (DRR), and Honeywell’s TPA-100 traffic alert collision avoidance system to detect and track cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft. The prototype DRR tracked multiple targets of opportunity, in addition to participating aircraft, throughout 40-plus scripted encounters, including some aircraft not tracked by air traffic control.

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 sense-and-avoid system, including collision avoidance.


Marcus UAV's picture

This is truly the type of technology necessary to make commercial UAV's safe for longer term missions.

So, every UAV will have a "sense-and-avoid" system on board...and every pilot/operator will have a "co-pilot" monitoring the "sense-ad-avoid" system output; right?  I say BALONY!  The only purpose for commercial UAV's is to "see" what is going on below them, on the ground.  They couldn't give a rat's behind what is going on around them.  The FAA cannot oversee every un-piloted vehicle.  Will they all be registered by the FAA like piloted aircraft?  I doubt it.  What additional expensive equipment will be required on GA?

The FAA is rushing headlong into this without thinking it through thourghly.....and if UAV's are put into the skies as predicted I predict that it will be the demise of GA.

Just my 2cw.

jeff's picture

Great that means they will miss me if I'm in my Cessna with a transponder but how about my '41 Cub with no electric system.  With a wood prop it has almost no radar return (at least that's what center tells me), I would gladly put an electric system in if the FAA would let me but try to get that approved for a old airplane they know nothing about anymore.  The old guys with experience in the '60 and 70's who had worked on these airplanes would sign a 337 for that, but the guys they have now are afraid to.  To much responsiblity.  I'm going to have to make a portable box with a com radio, battery and a transponder in it (with encoder) to fly this thing safely in the future.  The FAA can't seem to make up there mind on regulations for commercial UAV's, Sport pilots with a drivers license no third class medical and how to upgrade airplanes to make them safer.   

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