Cambridge Sensoriis secures NATEP grant to deliver onboard detect and avoid system

Radar technology company Cambridge Sensoriis has been awarded a NATEP (National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme) grant to deliver an ultra-lightweight onboard Detection and Avoidance Radar Tracking (oDART) avionics system. oDART leverages micro radar technologies that have been specifically developed for low altitude flight onboard Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) and shall adapt and introduce these into crewed aircraft.

The radar technology is designed to support navigation, collision avoidance, and airspace deconfliction, during the critical take-off and landing phases of flight. Few competing micro–Air-To-Air Radar (ATAR) exist, and those that do have been designed for light-aircraft obstacle detection at high altitudes and are often ineffective at lower altitudes.

Cambridge Sensoriis is the project lead of this 18-month project which launched in June 2023, and id supported by other funded project partners, including ARPAS-UK members Across Safety Development and TEKTowr. Across Safety Development are specialists in safety management and regulatory affairs, providing expertise across all aspects of the aviation industry, and have facilitated CAA approvals for numerous projects in the UK and abroad.

High frequency radar provides excellent all weather object detection performance but has traditionally been large and expensive. Cambridge Sensoriis has designed a low Size, Weight, Power, and cost (SWaPc) radar, suitable for object detection, including distinguishing between low flying small aircraft and ground-based structures like cranes, larger antenna, or electricity pylons. oDART supports reduced crew operation – part of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Advanced Systems stream – by providing greater and relevant situational awareness of flying and ground-based obstructions. Resilient pilot supporting systems are essential, especially within congested urban airspace, says Cambridge Sensoriis.

Project oDART falls within the ATI strategy of accelerating the introduction of novel aircraft platforms to establish the UK as a global leader for Net Zero aerospace.

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