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DARPA Demos Aircraft Mid-Air Collision Avoidance System; Dan Patt Comments

UAs not dronesThe Defense Advanced Research Program Agency has demonstrated an optical sense-and-avoid system as part of an effort to allow manned and unmanned aircraft to avoid mid-air collisions with other aircraft.

DARPA said Tuesday an unmanned aircraft detected and tracked a Cessna 172G aircraft with the use of the technology during the demonstration for the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System program.

The collision avoidance system features a single optical camera for imagery, passive ranging features to detect incoming aircraft and collision-avoidance systems.

“This successful flight test is a step toward adding external perception to ALIAS’ toolkit for advancing in-flight automation,” said Dan Patt, an agency program director.

DARPA’s goal for the follow-on research is to reduce the system size, test the ranging and collision-avoidance features and update calculations for optimal aircraft trajectories.

DARPA envisions the system as a line of defense for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast transponders and ground-based radar systems.

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