Tag Archives: sense and avoid

UAV021 NUAIR, Making Future Skies Safer


NUAIR AllianceGuest Lawrence H. Brinker is Executive Director and General Counsel for the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR) Alliance, the New York and Massachusetts UAS research and test site. Larry is also a former Air Force and commercial pilot.

We talk about the formation of the NUAIR Alliance as the managing UAS site operator for New York and Massachusetts, where the main test objective is going to be air and ground borne sense and avoid radar.

Larry tells us about the facilities at Griffis and Joint Base Cape Cod, and the corridors that will be instrumented for collection of data to establish sense and avoid protocols. Manufacturers and other parties who will use the test range will have the ability to test their technology. The FAA is but one customer of the range. They’ll analyze the data to come up with regulations.

Besides collaboration with the other UAS test sites, NUAIR sees public education as part of their mandate. They intend to take a lesson from early commercial aviation where World War One pilots barnstormed across the country, thus introducing airplanes to a population concerned about safety. Larry says public perception and public demand are keys to commercial success.

Visit the NUAIR Alliance website and follow them on Twitter.


UAV019 General Atomics Sense and Avoid

General Atomics Predator B

This Episode:

A successful first sense and avoid flight, a Russian drone killer, UAS test site selection approaches, and a drone hunting proposal is going to the voters.

The News:

General Atomics tests UAV that can “sense and avoid” other aircraft

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has had a successful first test flight in California of a prototype Sense and Avoid (SAA) system, using a Predator B. Developing SAA is key to allowing UAS in the U.S. airspace. Radar, transponder, and traffic alert systems all worked together for the first time to detect other aircraft. This is not an optical system. Instead, it integrates three systems:

  1. BAE Systems’ AD/DPX-7 Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) transponder with Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver

  2. the General Atomics Due Regard Radar (DRR)

  3. Honeywell’s TPA-100 Traffic Collision Avoidance System or TCAS.

Russia upgrades Pantsir-S systems to create “UAV-killers”

With unmanned aircraft playing an increasing role in military operations, it was only a matter of time until we began to see UAV-specific countermeasures. The Russians are modifying their Pantsir-S (SA-22 Greyhound) gun-missile system to make it more effective at bringing down UAVs.

Freight-Drone Dream Has U.S. States Vying for Test Sites

Twenty-four States are vying to become UAS test sites where private researchers can study how unmanned aircraft can be integrated into the airspace. The FAA plans to announce the six sites before the end of 2013.

Colorado judge rules in favor of holding drone-hunting vote after legal fight

Remember Deer Trail, that Colorado town that is looking at a proposal to issue hunting permits for drones? A District Judge rejected a legal challenge and so now the town’s 370 voters will decide the matter April 1, 2014. The FAA maintains it’s position that shooting down aircraft is a criminal act.

An annual license would cost $25, and hunters would receive a $100 bounty for “identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.”


UAV 002 Sense and Avoid

NASA's Langley Research Center Cirrus SR-22

Guest Jamie Dodson is Foreign Intelligence Officer, and Senior Technology Protection Engineer for the US Army Aviation & Missile Command. He has over 30 years of experience in Intelligence Operations for the US Military, having served with Special Operations, Army Aviation, Airborne Infantry, and Military Police. He is also author of the award winning Nick Grant Adventures series. Find him on Facebook.

The News:

‘Sense and Avoid’ Technology Evaluated in Weeklong Flight Tests

Unmanned aircraft have to know how to avoid other aircraft, but especially other unmanned aircraft. To test Sense and Avoid software developed by the MITRE Corp., the University of North Dakota and Draper Labs, NASA’s Langley Research Center has conducted flight demonstrations with a Cirrus SR-22 and a Cessna 206 through the Limited Deployment-Cooperative Airspace Project (LD-CAP). The system uses ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) as the sensor.

T-20 UAV  Reaches high Altitude Mark

The Arcturus T-20 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has been flown to an altitude of 23,500′ MSL. The primary mission of the T-20 is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance: aerial mapping, drug interdiction, border patrol, force protection, search and rescue, as well as military ISR.  The T-20 is also being studied for use in fighting wild fires.

4.)  Drones to protect Baltimore and DC and Don’t Be Alarmed by the Drone Blimps Hovering Over D.C. They’re Here to Stop Cruise Missiles

Two Raytheon JLENS (Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor)  helium-filled aerostats are planned to provide Washington, DC with protection against threats such as cruise missiles, high-speed attack boats, armed drones, planes, tanks, and trucks. Guest Jamie Dodson played a role in the JLENS program.

The Killing Machines by Mark Bowden a national correspondent for The Atlantic.

This well done article is balanced and presents the history and current issues associated with military drone strikes. Highly recommended regardless of your position on this issue.

Recorded 22 August 2013