Ground-Based Sense-and-Avoid System (GBSAA) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Organization: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Co-Developer(s): U.S. Army, SRC Inc., Kutta Technologies
Year: 2017

In order for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to fly in U.S. or international civil airspace, they must be able to meet regulations to see and avoid, and to remain well clear of, other aircraft. For a traditional manned aircraft, the pilot onboard performs the see-and-avoid function. Because no pilot is on board a UAS to perform this function, a technological sense-and-avoid (SAA) solution is required. The Ground-Based Sense-and-Avoid System (GBSAA) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) provides this technological solution and is the only available SAA system that is certified by the FAA, or other international regulatory body, for routine use in the civil airspace. Rather than employing onboard sensors to provide the location of aircraft that might pose a collision threat, the GBSAA system utilizes ground-based radars and existing FAA radars, where available, to locate cooperative aircraft and uses 3D radars with unique GBSAA-specific processing algorithms to locate and prioritize the risk from all aircraft. This allows the GBSAA system to provide sense-and-avoid services to any size UAS flying within radar coverage without requiring the UAS to carry any additional equipment.