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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

The Phased Array Terrain Interferometer (PathIn): A New Sensor for UAS Synthetic Vision and Ground Collision Avoidance, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This proposal introduces an innovative sensor to advance ground collision avoidance for UAS platforms by providing real-time height maps for hazard anomaly detection. This sensor will also provide enhanced vision to overcome reduced visibility in fog, drizzle and light rain and the detection of hazards/obstacles on runways for landing and takeoff applications. Specifically, this effort will build upon a developing synthetic vision system for landing piloted aircraft to: 1) customize the design and feasibility for targeted unpiloted autonomous systems (UAS), and 2) incorporate interferometry for terrain mapping and hazard detection. Dubbed "PathIn", the proposed sensor is comprised of a Ka-band digitally beamformed (DBF) radar interferometer that will provide a real-time data interface for ground-collision avoidance systems. The proposed effort is aligned with the effort to integrate UAS into the National Airspace (NAS). The Phase II will realize a prototype of the PathIn sensor, leveraging our extensive radar, interferometry and DBF experience and key technology capabilities. In particular a FPGA-based digital receiver system will be extended for real-time beamforming and interferometry. At the end of the Phase II, a technology readiness level of 5 will be achieved. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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Organizational Responsibility

Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Target Destination

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