Vigilant Aerospace Completes BLOS Test at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center
Vigilant Aerospace has announced that its new FlightHorizon detect-and-avoid (DAA) collision avoidance system for UAS has undergone successful beyond line of sight (BLOS) flight testing, according to a news release published by the company.
During the test, the system was used to detect and track intruder aircraft, as well as provide traffic alerts and collision warnings on all air traffic during the encounters.
The flights, which were conducted at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, showcased FlightHorizon’s ability to provide BLOS flight safety for small and midsized UAS, which help to not only meet FAA regulations, but also integrate UAS into the national airspace.
To demonstrate the system’s BLOS capabilities, a variety of flights were conducted, including ones where ground based unmanned pilots were possibly unable to see approaching aircraft due to a variety of factors such as distance, weather, altitude and speed.
In total, almost 100 scripted encounters between UAS under different realistic flight conditions were flown to test several of the system’s primary functionalities, including its DAA algorithms, user interface performance and hardware integration.
Two DJI Phantom 4 UAS were used to fly 18 different scenarios multiple times, in which one Phantom acted as the primary ownship, while the other Phantom played the part of an intruding aircraft. These testing scenarios triggered FlightHorizon’s traffic alerts, threat alerts and collision warnings, which allowed the pilots to make the proper adjustments so that they could avoid collisions with other aircraft.
FlightHorizon’s technology is based on a software suite developed and tested by NASA. The system is designed to meet several regulations, including the FAA’s UAS regulations on BLOS flying, night flying and airspace authorization.