Armstrong innovators have developed an ADS-B system for unmanned aerial vehicles. The system relies on highly accurate GPS signals to provide increased situational awareness and a self-separation assurance system to avoid accidents. This state-of-the-art technology automatically broadcasts a UAV’s exact position 120 miles in every direction every 1 second, as opposed to legacy radar-based transponder systems that “sweep” for position every 12 seconds. Accurate to within 5.7 feet, this Armstrong-developed technology integrates commercial ADS-B hardware, radio data-link communications, software algorithms for real-time conflict detecting and alerting, and a display that employs a geobrowser for three-dimensional graphical representations. Some manned aircraft already have adopted ADS-B technology. The Armstrong team is the first to apply the system architecture to UAVs.
Work to date: In 2012, the team developed, demonstrated, and validated an ADS-B system integrated into an unmanned aircraft system for increased situational awareness and self-separation assurance.
Looking ahead: The team is working to refine the sense-and-avoid algorithm’s conflict detection, trajectory estimation, and prediction capabilities for self-separation assurance.
|Organizations Performing Work
|Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC)