Laser Technologies Adapted for UAS Sense and Avoid (SAA) Applications

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-136
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Defense Research Associates, Inc.
3915 Germany Lane, Suite 102, Beavercreek, OH, 45431
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Mike Deschenes
Director of Engineering
(937) 431-1644
Business Contact:
Ron Clericus
Director of Programs
(937) 431-1644
Research Institution:
Without the capability to sense and avoid other air traffic, UAS flights are limited to flight operations within restricted and warning areas unless the proponent obtains a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). FAA Order 7610.4 states that remotely operated aircraft must have an equivalent level of safety, comparable to see-and-avoid requirements for manned aircraft, to fly in the national air space. DRA's SAA system uses passive electro-optic (EO) sensors and associated processing to detect, track and alert on those aircraft that appear to be on a collision course. The EO system does not provide accurate range information on approaching aircraft. Without accurate range, the UAS may maneuver earlier or more aggressively than necessary. Range provides the benefit of performing less aggressive maneuvers. In addition, in the presence of multiple aircraft in the local air traffic, range allows the SAA system to prioritize the intruding aircraft, and aid in the selection of the most appropriate maneuver. This project will explore the feasibility of adding laser radar (LADAR) capability to the existing EO-based system as an alternative to the significant Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) constraints associated with the traditional method of ranging, radar. BENEFIT: Potential Commercial Applications of the Research or Development The Phase I SBIR results will show the feasibility of adding a LADAR capability to the existing SAA system. These benefits include, range and closing rate information, as well as confirmation of aircraft presence (or rejection of false alarms). This capability will be further developed and demonstrated on a prototype under Phase II.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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