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Drone ducks planes in avoidance system test

Dec. 16, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By MICHAEL PECK   |   Comments
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General Atomics has completed the first of several test flights of a sense-and-avoid system to allow UAVs to dodge other aircraft.

The initial test was to integrate and synchronize a BAE AD/DPX-7 Identification Friend or Foe transponder with automatic dependent surveillance broadcast tracking, General Atomic’s Due Regard Radar airborne radar system, and Honeywell’s Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System TPA-100.

The first test was a success, according to General Atomics. A company-owned Predator B used the system to detect two participating intruder aircraft with all three sensors.

“The Honeywell sensor fusion algorithm excelled in combining the multiple sensors’ outputs and fusing them into a single track picture to send to the ground,” the company said in a statement. “Tracks were displayed in the ground control station using GA-ASI [General Atomics]’s Conflict Prediction and Display System, which is designed to aid pilots in making maneuvers to remain well clear of other traffic.”

The prototype DRR system tracked multiple targets in more than 40 scripted encounters, including aircraft not tracked by air traffic control. The sensor data collected will be used by the FAA and industry to refine SAA algorithms.


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