Unmanned Systems News

MicroPilot Integrates Sense & Avoid System into UAV Autopilot

Published: 04 Dec 2017

Drone flying

MicroPilot has announced that it has successfully integrated the FLARM Sense and Avoid system with its autopilot, granting clients a reliable autonomous collision avoidance option for fully autonomous UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) operations.

With any form of autonomous vehicle, one of the major concerns is the ability to safely avoid collisions without human intervention. A sense and avoid system allows a UAV to do exactly that, dramatically reducing operational risks and the need for human monitoring.

FLARM is a traffic awareness and collision avoidance technology used by light aircraft and UAVs. When integrated with MicroPilot’s autopilot, the system alerts the autopilot of nearby aircraft, along with their velocity and altitude. Using this information, the autopilot decides how to avoid the other aircraft, autonomously preventing a collision without a single input from a human operator.

With airspace becoming increasingly crowded and UAVs becoming more popular, a reliable sense and avoid system has become a necessity, especially for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and other autonomous operations. This new system aims to give operators the confidence to use their UAVs to the full extent of their abilities.

“FLARM has been in use for over a decade helping manned aircraft avoid midair collisions,” commented a spokesperson from FLARM. “We are very happy to see that UAVs are the next type of vehicle that benefit from FLARM, and that UAVs are becoming visible to manned aircraft.”

With the reliability of MicroPilot’s autopilots combined with FLARM’S advanced sense and avoid system, UAV designers will be better able to market their larger and longer-range UAVs with a reliable autonomous system of collision avoidance, and operators will likewise feel more comfortable conducting long range BVLOS operations where human intervention is more difficult. Combined, this will further the utility and viability of UAVs and bring them much closer to their full potential.

MicroPilot autopilots are available in the U.S. through UAV Propulsion Tech.

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.

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