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Proceedings Paper

Sense and avoid technology for unmanned aircraft systems
Author(s): John McCalmont; James Utt; Michael Deschenes; Michael Taylor; Richard Sanderson; Joel Montgomery; Randal S. Johnson; David McDermott
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Paper Abstract

The Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), in conjunction with the Global Hawk Systems Group, the J-UCAS System Program Office and contractor Defense Research Associates, Inc. (DRA) is conducting an Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) of a sense-and-avoid capability with the potential to satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) requirement for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to provide "an equivalent level of safety, comparable to see-and-avoid requirements for manned aircraft". This FAA requirement must be satisfied for UAS operations within the national airspace. The Sense-and-Avoid, Phase I (Man-in-the-Loop) and Phase II (Autonomous Maneuver) ATD demonstrated an on-board, wide field of regard, multi-sensor visible imaging system operating in real time and capable of passively detecting approaching aircraft, declaring potential collision threats in a timely manner and alerting the human pilot located in the remote ground control station or autonomously maneuvered the aircraft. Intruder declaration data was collected during the SAA I & II Advanced Technology Demonstration flights conducted during December 2006. A total of 27 collision scenario flights were conducted and analyzed. The average detection range was 6.3 NM and the mean declaration range was 4.3 NM. The number of false alarms per engagement has been reduced to approximately 3 per engagement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 May 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6566, Automatic Target Recognition XVII, 65660P (7 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720867
Show Author Affiliations
John McCalmont, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
James Utt, Defense Research Associates Inc. (United States)
Michael Deschenes, Defense Research Associates Inc. (United States)
Michael Taylor, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Richard Sanderson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Joel Montgomery, M&M Aviation (United States)
Randal S. Johnson, Macaulay Brown, Inc. (United States)
David McDermott, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6566:
Automatic Target Recognition XVII
Firooz A. Sadjadi, Editor(s)

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