R³ Engineering LLC (R³E) announces successful demonstration of autonomous collision avoidance during flight tests that took place the week of April 15th-19th at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in Arizona.
Two Tiger Shark UAVs, equipped with Cloud Cap Technology Piccolo autopilots and AWSAS (R³E’s All Weather Sense and Avoid System), successfully conducted autonomous collision avoidance maneuvers over the 5 day period. The current series of flight tests demonstrates the AWSAS’ “middle ware” functionality with different airframes, different autopilots and different Sense And Avoid (SAA) software from previous flight tests. Flight scenarios executed at YPG were designed to trigger AWSAS’ collision avoidance algorithm that generated an autonomous maneuver to clear the conflict. Tiger Shark UAV pilots, operating from a ground station nearby, also demonstrated their ability to override the autonomous maneuver, an important capability of the airborne system.
In August of last year, the AWSAS Airborne Sense and Avoid System (ABSAA), executed the first known ADS-B based, fully autonomous collision avoidance event during flight tests at the former US Navy Long Range Patrol Base at Argentia, Newfoundland. The YPG flights are part of an increasingly challenging series of tests focused on the eventual integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) into the National Airspace System (NAS). Future flight testing, planned for this summer, will incorporate non-cooperative target data from other sensor systems (radar, EO/IR, etc.).