DARPA, AFRL Test Track-and-Avoid UAV System

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, working with the Air Force Research Laboratory, recently successfully tested an autonomic detect and avoid system on an unmanned vehicle. The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System program includes a small, plug-and-play system designed for both manned and unmanned aircraft to automatically sense and avoid other aircraft nearby. The system uses just a single optical camera and “passive ranging features that assess the likelihood of an incoming aircraft intersecting the flight path of its host aircraft,” DARPA said in a Tuesday release. DARPA recently outfitted the system on a small UAV that was able to detect and avoid a Cessna 172G that approached from multiple angles and distances.