Air Force looking for collision-avoidance avionics for unmanned aerial systems

WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 26 Oct. 2009. The U.S. Air Force is looking for unmanned aerial system (UAS) technologies to enable manned and unmanned aircraft to operate together or in confined airspace without colliding with one other.

Oct 26th, 2009

WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 26 Oct. 2009. The U.S. Air Force is looking for unmanned aerial system (UAS) technologies to enable manned and unmanned airplanes to operate together or in confined airspace without colliding with one other.

Air Force researchers acknowledge that UASs are involved in an increasing number of missions by all branches of the military, so unmanned aircraft must have autonomous sense-and-avoid (SAA) technology to avoid collisions with other manned and unmanned aircraft.

The goal of the MUSAA program is to find ways for UASs to merge seamlessly across the spectrum of piloted operations. To do this, UAS SAA systems must be able to perform the same essential functions as an aircraft pilot -- see and avoid other aircraft.

Technical challenges include:

-- how sensors, communication bandwidth, and power should be allocated;
-- rules for sharing of aircraft control;
-- human machine interfaces (HMIs);
-- sense-and-avoid capability for one UAS pilot operating several unmanned aircraft, or operating one or more UASs in manned formation; and
-- interaction between several UASs and several conflict aircraft.

The Multi-Vehicle Unmanned Aircraft Systems Sense And Avoid (MUSAA) program (broad agency announcement number 10-01 PKV), sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will award a $2.4 million three-year contract for MUSAA on or about 13 Feb. 2010.

First, however, interested companies must submit white papers outlining their ideas to the Air Force Research Lab by 10 Nov. -- less than three weeks away. Those submitting white papers will get further instructions on submitting proposals.

For technical questions, contact the Air Force's Vince Raska by phone at 937-255-1258, by e-mail at vincent.raska@wpafb.af.mil, or by post at Vince Raska, AFRL/RBCC, Room 270, Bldg 45, 2130 Eighth St., WPAFB, OH 45433-7542.

For contracting questions contact Edward Davidson by phone at 937-255-5459, by e-mail at Edward.davidson@wpafb.af.mil, or by post at Edward Davidson, AFRL/PKVC, Bldg 167, 2310 Eighth St., WPAFB, OH 45433-7801.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=65651393319ae993c2c102ae2a5fe846&tab=core&_cview=0.

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-- Posted by John Keller, jkeller@pennwell.com. www.milaero.com.

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