NASA currently has multiple UAS applications/technology development programs which could benefit from the proposed situation awareness radar system. NASA's Autonomous Robust Avionics (AuRA) would benefit from the radar's ability to reduce operator workload. In Phase II & III the radar will be integrated with an adaptive flight controller such as the one being developed at the University of Kansas from which the proposed radars obtains its detection range requirements. Either as a stand-alone sensor or integrated with other devices, the situation awareness provided by the radar could greatly affect the rules and regulations for remotely operated aircraft in the national airspace (ROA in the NAS) which NASA, the FAA, and other agencies are collaborating on. NASA Earth Science Capability Demonstration (ESCD) could utilize the radar to allow UAS to carry out dangerous missions such as remote sensing in hostile environments. Finally, since radars are capable of operating in outer space and the proposed situation awareness radar has strict limitations on size, weight, and power, there could be a potential space mission application.
The commercial UAS market worldwide is already a multibillion dollar industry in which the U.S. is lagging. Some commercial uses include agriculture, film/photography, academia, package delivery, law enforcement, and by hobbyists for recreation. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has predicted a multibillion dollar U.S. economy for commercial UAS in the next ten years. However, to achieve this possibility, UAS operation must first be made safe. The proposed radar system will be a critical sensor in achieving the necessary safety level due to its all weather, stand-alone (not reliant on a wireless data link), detection capability. Therefore, any commercial application for UAS is essentially a commercial application of the radar system. This could include precision agriculture, the movie industry, pipeline monitoring, search and rescue, border patrol, package delivery, and many more. By phase III, UAVradars will work towards developing sensor and autopilot integration with the radar system providing a complete airborne collision-avoidance package to make these applications even more commercially viable. In the meantime, a marketing strategy for promoting the radar system during each technical development stage is being formulated so that the product can be commercialized as soon as possible and allows for multiple revenue streams.