Russian engineers are developing the first domestic system that will prevent collisions of drones with other aircraft.
The new system is designed for civilian drones with a take-off weight of over 30 kg. The core of the system is a small-sized radar station that “observes” the situation by emitting electromagnetic pulses and receiving reflected signals from aircraft. The onboard computer processes the data and decides whether the device needs to change its course or altitude.
The developers plan to create a system by 2026, making modifications for aircraft of different weights. Experts consider it especially important to introduce such a development for civilian drones that will fly over cities.
The system is created by the scientific and production enterprise “Radar mms”. The development was called Detect-and-Avoid System (DAA). It consists of several subsystems, the main of which is the primary small-sized airborne radar stations operating in the frequency range of centimeter wavelengths. They are used mainly for radar and radio relay communication.
“Onboard radar stations of this range will allow simultaneous monitoring of aircraft located in the survey sector at a distance of more than 25 km,” Vasily Antsev, director of the Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) company, said. “The surveillance system will transmit messages about the spatial position of the drone to ground traffic control points and to aircraft equipped with this system.”
It also includes instruments for measuring altitude, an onboard computer for processing data and forming commands to change the flight path. It is also responsible for transmitting messages about route changes to the drone operator and to air traffic control points. The onboard computer, after processing the received data, will make a decision about changing the trajectory or altitude of the flight.
The system can be used not only for the tasks of civilian unmanned vehicles, but also adapted to ensure the safety of small aircraft, helicopters, and airplanes. DAA will warn aircraft about the presence of drones on their way.
“At the moment, we are developing a system for drones weighing from 30 to 700 kg, but we plan to create its modifications for heavier and lighter copies,” Antsev said.
The head of the laboratory “Drone School”, Kirill Shchukin, believes that all UAVs weighing 30 kg or more should be equipped with emergency safe landing systems, which will prevent possible damage to third parties.
“They need to be implemented on any UAVs that are expected to be used in the airspace of the Russian Federation. After all, now drones are planned to be used for a variety of tasks in urban environments, for example, for cargo delivery or monitoring the situation from the air,” he noted.
It is specified that similar developments exist in other countries, for example in the USA, but they are at the stage of experiments and pilot projects have not yet been serially implemented.