DARPA demos sense-and-avoid system

One of the keys for unmanned aircraft operation – especially within the context of greater integration in U.S. national airspace – is reliable sense-and-avoid technology, but manned aircraft also could use a collision avoidance system that helps spot and evade oncoming traffic.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently successfully tested a system that can work for both — a shoebox-sized, drop-in system for automatically detecting and avoiding mid-air collisions. The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, or ALIAS, was demonstrated in a UAS, which detected and tracked in real time a Cessna 172G aircraft that approached from several angles.

DARPA’s idea behind the ALIAS program was to overcome challenges associated with complicated interfaces and preparedness during unexpected mid-air emergencies.


Dr. Hans Mumm