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Proceedings Paper

Flight test evaluation of a prototype optical instrument for airborne sense-and-avoid applications
Author(s): Cyrus Minwalla; Paul Thomas; Kristopher Ellis; Richard Hornsey; Sion Jennings
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Paper Abstract

A prototype, wide-field, optical sense-and-avoid instrument was constructed from low-cost commercial off-the-shelf components, and configured as a network of smart camera nodes. To detect small, general-aviation aircraft in a timely manner, such a sensor must detect targets at a range of 5-10 km at an update rate of a few Hz. This paper evaluates the flight test performance of the "DragonflEYE" sensor as installed on a Bell 205 helicopter. Both the Bell 205 and the Bell 206 (intruder aircraft) were fully instrumented to record position and orientation. Emphasis was given to the critical case of head-on collisions at typical general aviation altitudes and airspeeds. Imagery from the DragonflEYE was stored for the offline assessment of performance. Methodologies for assessing the key figures of merit, such as the signal-to-noise ratio, the range at first detection (R0) and angular target size were developed. Preliminary analysis indicated an airborne detection range of 6:7 km under typical visual meteorological conditions, which significantly exceeded typical visual acquisition ranges under the same conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2012
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8387, Unmanned Systems Technology XIV, 83870R (25 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918641
Show Author Affiliations
Cyrus Minwalla, York Univ. (Canada)
National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Paul Thomas, York Univ. (Canada)
Kristopher Ellis, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Richard Hornsey, York Univ. (Canada)
Sion Jennings, National Research Council Canada (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8387:
Unmanned Systems Technology XIV
Robert E. Karlsen; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker; Grant R. Gerhart, Editor(s)

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