In an advancement towards beyond line-of-sight operations, Vigilant Aerospace, providers of next-generation flight management and safety systems for both manned and unmanned aircraft, have successfully tested their beyond line-of-sight detect-and-avoid collision avoidance system for unmanned aircraft at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards Florida. Their software platform, called FlightHorizon, is based on an exclusively licensed NASA patent and provides situational awareness, synthetic cockpit views, collision avoidance, and other flight information to enable integration of UAS into the national airspace.
The tests included nearly 100 scripted encounters between unmanned aircraft under realistic flight conditions and successfully demonstrated the system’s ability to provide beyond line-of-sight safety for both small and mid-sized unmanned UAS. The detect-and-avoid system is an important part of the effort to integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace and make beyond line-of-sight drones safe to share airspace with manned aircraft, which has been a primary concern in the discussion around regulations for beyond visual line-of-sight operations.
More details can be found here. Although there is still lots of work and testing to be done in regards to beyond visual line-of-sight flights, advancements and positive testing such as this show the quick advancements that are being made and is indicative of the direction in which in the industry is headed.