Reliable Robotics and NASA test detect and avoid technology based on primary surveillance radar

Reliable Robotics and NASA have completed flight tests to substantiate the use of existing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) primary surveillance radar (PSR) data to improve airspace safety. Reliable Robotics has been working with NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign since 2021 to advance the safe, secure and efficient integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems. The FAA granted NASA limited access to PSR data for these specific flights conducted by Reliable Robotics in a step towards utilizing existing radar infrastructure for Detect and Avoid (DAA) systems.

As part of the campaign, Reliable Robotics coordinated encounters of two of its aircraft in California while data was being collected by FAA ground-based radars as well as a commercial air-to-air radar. These flights will help NASA analyze and characterize the accuracy of surveillance radars, which will be used to develop a comprehensive safety case for DAA systems that utilize existing PSR data.

According to the press release, making high quality PSR data available to pilots in the cockpit, along with certified alerting and guidance features, will improve situational awareness and help to prevent mid-air collisions. Automatic Dependent-Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology will continue to play an important role in the safe integration of uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) in the NAS, but it requires that all aircraft install and operate equipment. Secure access to the FAA’s medium and long-range PSR network will expand these safety benefits and provide accurate position data on aircraft, even for those without ADS-B.

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