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Sense and Avoid Systems _The Future of UAVs

Written by on Monday, July 22nd, 2013

With Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) growing by leaps and bounds and the vehicles seeking a larger footprint in the National Airspace, it is high time that the country adopts the technology intended to support sense and avoid systems. We all know of the large role that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles demonstrated in both Iraq and Afghanistan and now with a growing demand to bring the capability to the United States, systems that are intended to keep the vehicles safe and out of the way of both manned and unmanned vehicles are in development.

UAVs have long relied upon a “big sky, little airplane” philosophy in Iraq and Afghanistan where other aircraft were given the altitude of the UAV and a loose understanding of the geography where the UAVs would be positioned. In most cases, the manned aircraft were given instructions to avoid the UAVs and given ample buffer around the UAVs by air-traffic-controllers to avoid a potential generic cialis canada mishap, technology had not progressed to equip the UAVs with a sense and avoid systems.

Today the technology has advanced to a point where the reality of sense and avoid systems on UAVs is a reality. For five days in April, the Navy Tiger Shark, installed with a prototype All Weather Sense and Avoid System (AWSAS) demonstrated multiple, fully autonomous collision avoidance sequences.  Equipped with an adaptable autopilot system, the Tiger Shark was able to sense another aircraft and take proactive maneuvers to avoid a potential midair collision. The tests with the Tiger Shark and the AWSAS technology gives hope that UAVs can be integrated with manned aircraft in the National Airspace.

UAVs have proven that their benefits greatly outweigh the risks.  As technology advances the key is finding an acceptable sense and avoid system that can convince decision makers that UAVs are safe and reliable for full integration.

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