Insitu demonstrates its ground-based UAS airspace situational awareness system

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Insitu has announced the successful completion of a flight demonstration for its ground-based UAS airspace situational awareness system.

​Under a program sponsored by the Queensland Government, Insitu, along with Boeing Phantom Works International, designed, developed, and tested the airspace situational awareness system in Australia.

The system is designed as one of the optional “layers” of safety to allow broad-area, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capability for commercial UAS operations, by providing UAS operators with airspace situational awareness, specifically to help detect and avoid so called “non-cooperative” traffic.

The system incorporates radio over internet protocol (ROIP), allowing it to expand its ability to communicate with air traffic control and local traffic in the operations area.

According to Insitu, UAS ground control operators fly their aircraft only to a point where the UAS is within line-of-sight, being that operators cannot detect the location of other aircraft within the same airspace, which potentially creates dangerous flying conditions.

Using either mobile or fixed infrastructure, the system combines Airborne Dependent Surveillance Broadcasts (ADS-B) and transponder returns to provide a “correlated common operating picture,” which allows UAS operators at ground control systems to see real-time information about the local airspace.

The system remotely detects and tracks other airspace users, and immediately sends the air traffic information back to a ground-control station. This helps operators safely fly their UAS over extended ranges.  

Last November, Insitu performed a successful test flight of its BVLOS system at the Mississippi State University (MSU) Raspet Flight Center, which showcased the work done by Insitu, the MSU Raspet Flight Center, and Boeing Phantom Works International.

The flight also demonstrated a key airspace integration tool that could be used in the United States.

“We now have integrated a significant capability that will dramatically improve airspace safety,” says Dara Albouyeh, Chief Engineer, Certification, at Insitu.

“This successful demonstration of our ground-based situational awareness system confirmed our ability to achieve deconfliction of the air traffic at the Choctaw County Airport and surrounding areas.”

Mark Bauman, Vice President and General Manager, Insitu Commercial, adds, “this system shows great promise as one of many solutions or “layers” that we are pursuing to increase safety and allow BVLOS flights in the U.S.”