The use of true DAA capabilities on a Penguin C unmanned aircraft during a US Air Force small business technology transfer program has been reportedly enabled using a Sagetech Avionics computer component with airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS) algorithms.
Matt Hamilton, Chief Technology Officer of Sagetech, stated: “This technology is critical to unlocking the full potential of UAVs and allow for safe beyond visual line of sight missions. Safe DAA cannot be achieved with a single sensor, it’s a combination of sensors including validated Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) in data feeding the proven ACAS algorithms for collision avoidance calculation and alerts.”
Sagetech collaborated with the US FAA’s TCAS program using ACAS algorithms that are yet to be released, paired with a Sagetech MX transponder, currently the only micro transponder with integrated ADS-B.
ACAS meets Penguin
Although the DAA capabilities are also designed for rotorcraft use, the ACAS was tested in a Penguin C unmanned fixed-wing aircraft.
Neal Suchy, Program Manager for the FAA’s TCAS Program Officer, said: “Sagetech’s prototype ACAS Xr device integrated into a UAS demonstrated the receipt (sic) of Remain Well Clear and Collision Avoidance alerts. These results, along with their planned testing of omni-directional surveillance, will prove useful to the continued development of the ACAS X system for use in rotorcraft.”
UAVs remain an omnipresent topic, and have found application in police aviation, SAR, and even as an Internet-of-Things monitoring network to detect forest fires.