AeroMech Engineering, Inc., as part of Barron Associates team, to fly Fury and other aircraft with Sense And Avoid-enabled FCAS Autopilot
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., Sept. 16 AeroMech Engineering, Inc. (AME) of San Luis Obispo, CA, teamed with prime contractor Barron Associates of Charlottesville, VA, are proud to announce the award of a new four-year contract through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) valued at nearly $2.4 million. The work performed will leverage current AFRL Sense And Avoid (SAA) development. The Multi-Vehicle Unmanned Aircraft Systems Sense And Avoid (MUSAA) program will consist of development and flight tests that will address the risk of unintentional conflicts or collisions between Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and manned aircraft.
UAS are playing an increasingly important role in critical military missions, from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to weapons delivery, and are on the verge of providing a multitude of capabilities to civil and commercial needs as well. A limitation to both military and civil UAS use is the perceived lack of critical avoidance capabilities for these aircraft while under autonomous flight. For UASs to be fully integrated into airspace with manned aircraft, UAS Sense And Avoid systems must perform the same essential conflict and collision avoidance functions as a human pilot. Whereas current AFRL SAA development has been directed toward a UAS operating singly, MUSAA will address these issues for UAS formation flight.
Jay McConville, President and CEO of AME stated, “The key to our approach is testing, evaluating, and demonstrating the developed technologies with actual UAS formations — not just simulations. Our portfolio of highly capable but low cost aircraft, including the Fury UAS, combined with our easily customizable Flight Control Augmentation System (FCAS) autopilot, will provide prime contractor Barron Associates with an excellent test and evaluation capability.”
The program will consist of integrating multi-vehicle coordination and formation flight strategies, or algorithms, with current state-of-the-art sense-and-detect technologies provided by Barron Associates into the AME’s FCAS autopilot. AME will then execute a series of flight tests demonstrating coordinated control of a multi-UAV system with the developed Sense And Avoid technologies. The flight tests will focus on a variety of formation flight scenarios. The company has substantial experience in unmanned flight testing and rapid concept demonstration, and will draw on a number of flight test range options while leveraging existing AME ground control facilities, flight test vehicles, and equipped sensing packages