Sagetech Avionics has announced a successful integration of its Detect and Avoid (DAA) system with Echodyne’s EchoFlight radar for aircraft seeking type certification/airworthiness with Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) Concept of Operations (CONOPS).
Sagetech has taken a systematic approach versus component only in developing a robust solution that will meet the needs for BVLOS within the Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) markets. Sagetech believes collaborating on an ACAS X-based DAA system with Echodyne around customer requirements will create a faster, more reliable, and certifiable solution.
The DAA/ACAS integration with radar tests included multiple flights to gather data and validate the technology needed for future BVLOS missions, in which they primarily focused on non-cooperative sensor integration and performance.
These flight tests consisted of multiple close encounter scenarios to exhaustively test the performance of the DAA system. Sagetech’s DAA system used the Echodyne EchoFlight radar to detect and track non-cooperative aircraft (aircraft without ADS-B out or a transponder). The system also integrated with Sagetech’s TSO certified MXS Transponder to receive cooperative ADS-B traffic, an Autopilot to get ownship information, and an onboard datalink to communicate with the Ground Control Station (GCS).
Data gathered was shared with the TCAS Program Office for validating the models used to create the ACAS collision avoidance algorithms. The data will also be used to verify that using a radar like the EchoFlight provides enough time to send an alert down to the GCS to avoid a midair collision with a non-cooperative aircraft like a crop duster.
“Sagetech is a leader in creating comprehensive DAA solutions for UAS and AAM markets,” said Casey Dunn, Senior Product Manager for EchoFlight at Echodyne. “BVLOS flight will add services, reduce costs, and improve public safety across a range of applications. We’re proud our radar is now integrated with Sagetech’s DAA systems, creating next-generation off-the-shelf solutions that improve safety for both people and machines.”
Sagetech will continue to evolve the ACAS X-based DAA system; adding more sensor options to detect non-cooperative intruders and integrate with more common autopilots for issuing autonomous collision avoidance maneuvers in the case of a lost link. Sagetech believes its DAA System will be the most advanced, low-SWAP, and certifiable onboard DAA system for crewed and uncrewed aircraft. The company’s DAA computer is at the center of its innovation hub that will enable OEMs to plug and play for optimum safety and visibility for BVLOS flight.
Jim Billmeyer, Senior ACAS Development Lead at Sagetech, who is a licensed private pilot, and a software and mechanical engineer, is eager to perfect Sagetech’s solution for beta testing: “Many customers are on the waitlist for integration, and we cannot wait to unleash our capabilities. It really is a game changer!”