Simulation and Flight Test Capability for Testing Prototype Sense and Avoid System Elements

July 2012
Topics: Air Traffic Management, Avionics, Modeling and Simulation
Charles T. Howell III, NASA Langley Research Center
Todd M. Stock, The MITRE Corporation
Harry A. Verstynen, Unisys Corporation
Paul J. Wehner, The MITRE Corporation
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The purpose of this paper is to document the development of simulation and flight-test capabilities, and describe initial testing of prototype sense and avoid (SAA) algorithms for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The routine operation of UAS in non-segregated civil airspace presents many technical, operational, and policy challenges. One of the greatest challenges is the development of a capability for unmanned aircraft to 'sense and avoid' other aircraft, which is required as mitigation for the lack of an on-board pilot. Sense-and-avoid (SAA) includes the ability to both assure safe separation (i.e., remain well-clear) from other aircraft and to take immediate, evasive action to avoid an imminent collision. This ensures compliance with existing rules governing both operations near other aircraft and right-of-way (i.e., U.S. Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Title 14, Part 91, Paragraphs 91.111 and 91.113).

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