Researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have developed a small UAV with an on-board system that enables the vehicle to use vision to detect another aircraft in flight and avoid a collision with it.
In trials, the system delivered real-time warnings to the ground control station, which prevented collision through a manual avoidance manoeuvre. The aircraft was tested in unsegregated, class G airspace. QUT’s Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) collaborated with Boeing Research and Technology-Australia and Insitu Pacific carried out the research. The trials were conducted in an airfield northwest of Brisbane.
The research forms part of Project ResQu, a $7 milllion, two-year project funded by the Queensland Government, QUT, CSIRO, BR&T-A and Insitu Pacific. According to ARCAA Director, QUT Professor Duncan Campbell, the project “aims to fast-track the development of smart technologies that will enable unmanned aircraft to fly safely in the civil airspace.
“Ultimately, this will allow UA to provide public services such as assistance in disaster management and recovery, as well as in environmental, biosecurity and resource management,” he added.
Andrew Duggan, Insitu Pacific managing director, says, “The team continues to make excellent progress in developing and fielding a world-leading system for the safe integration of UAS into commercial airspace. We have a unique capability here in Australia, and Queensland specifically, to field this technology in viable UAS operations for civilian customers.”
There was no mention if fully automatic collision avoidance were currently being researched at ARCAA.