Obstacle Avoidance During Flight – A Breakthrough In Unmanned Aircraft

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Researchers from Queensland University of Technology, Australia have made a breakthrough in the Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Technology. Together with Boeing Research & Technology – Australia, and Scan Eagle manufacturer Insitu Pacific, they have developed an on-board system that can detect another aircraft using vision during the flight operations.

The system provides real time alerts at the control station on ground whenever it “sees” any aircraft movement on the air approaching it. In response the controller can adopt necessary manoeuvre to avoid collision.

Craft Detection and Avoidance Technology UA

The research was carried out as a part of two year Project ResQu – funded by the Queensland Government, QUT, CSIRO, BR&T-A and Insitu Pacific and aims to fast-track the development of smart technologies that will enable unmanned aircraft to fly safely in the civil airspace.

The designed vision-based sense and avoid technology had previously been developed and tested for use in normal manned aircraft. Although the technology allows manual manoeuvre by its remote operator, it is hoped that future UAVs equipped with such a system will be able to avoid mid-air collisions autonomously.

Aircraft Detector UAV

“The final technical hurdle to UA (Unmanned Aircraft) operating in civil airspace is their ability to land safely in an emergency and our collaborative research is expected to make significant strides towards overcoming this hurdle, too, in the coming months.” said ARCAA Director Prof. Duncan Campbell.


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