AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems completed an unmanned flight demonstration of a Small Sense and Avoid System (SSAASy) on a Shadow 200 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
The flight was conducted by AAI and SSAASy developer Defense Research Associates, of Dayton, Ohio, under contract with the U.S. Army. The Shadow aircraft flew an average altitude of 9,000 feet for more than two hours. The manned aircraft flew at 1,000 feet above and below the Shadow during the first flight test, and 500 feet above and below for the second.
“The advantages of being able to safely conduct UAS training operations in NAS are significant,” said AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Steven Reid. “The limited training time available in and location of, restricted air space hinders training of flight crews. Achieving a reliable UAS sense and avoidance system removes these limitations while enabling the FAA to safely allow unmanned aircraft in the NAS. Beyond the military, there is also growing demand for UAS operations in law enforcement, border patrol and homeland security.”
U.S. Army Ground Maneuver Product Manager Lt. Col. Andrew Hamilton said, "This was the first successful demonstration of technology that will enable an airborne Sense and Avoid System on Army platforms. Building on the success of the ground-based Sense and Avoid System, this successful demonstration represents the next step toward an integrated air and ground-based sense and avoid solution allowing unmanned flights in the National Airspace System."