Sagetech Avionics reports a US Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract for the initial development phase of components for a type-certifiable detect-and-avoid (DAA) system. The system is designed to enable UAS to safety operate beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) in the National Airspace System (NAS).
According to the Sagetech press release, the company is working in partnership with the University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site for test flights and data analysis.
Under this Phase 1 contract, Sagetech will develop the ability to provide an acceptable safety case for tracking cooperative targets as part of an Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) solution, while not overloading the 1090 MHz spectrum. The results of this contract will enable Sagetech to further develop integrated low size, weight, and power (SWaP) ACAS-compatible DAA solutions for unmanned aircraft use in the anticipated Phases 2 and 3.
Unmanned aircraft expected to require certified ACAS Xu and ACAS Xr-based DAA systems include those weighing more than 55 pounds, flying above 400 feet and BVLOS. Examples of expected applications include air taxis, longer-haul cargo transport, ocean patrol, commercial agriculture, energy, and other military, commercial, and civil government applications.
“Just like manned aircraft, unmanned aircraft operating in the NAS will require type-certification. Compliant detect-and-avoid systems will be a key part of those certifications,” explained Tom Furey, CEO of Sagetech. “This contract enables us to continue the development and analysis of the critical technologies that will serve as a basis for these systems.”
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