For safe navigation and collision avoidance during autonomous UAS operations, where UASs are directed by onboard flight management systems, valid/trusted position data must be available and processed in real-time for safety of flight and mission effectiveness.
The desired result from this SBIR project is a multi-functional avionic system that is small and lightweight enough to be used on small UASs (sUASs), and capable of functioning with both the traditional ATCRBS/transponder position reporting system and the GPS-based ADS-B position reporting system. It will have to transmit and receive on both ADS-B frequencies and be capable of responding with standard 1090 MHz Mode A/C information to interrogations from ATCRBS and TCAS. A highly desirable feature will be the ability to interrogate cooperative (transponder equipped) aircraft in “blind airspaces” where ATCRBS cannot reach. This interrogation would primarily be intended for avoidance of collisions and could be relatively low power and short range while providing information to a pilot (onboard or remote) in time to avoid a midair collision. Finally, because this system will mostly be used on sUASs and small GA aircraft, a low-cost design is highly desired.
This SBIR demonstrates that advanced development of software defined radios (SDRs) has produced highly capable, multifunctional, miniature avionics suitable for all aircraft, including small UAS, and addressing the concerns and weaknesses of both ATCRBS and ADS-B position reporting systems. A side-benefit attributed to this micro-avionic system is reduced usage of the transponder spectrum, responding to the concerns of overcrowding 1090 MHz spectrum.
The validation of aircraft ADS-B signals (and the position information derived from on-board GPS systems) for both manned and unmanned aircraft is critical to maintain the safety of the airspace. All NASA vehicles in or entering the airspace need to be assured that the position of all platforms is known with a very high integrity. This system can be used both on platform, or from a local ground station to assure the position of all platforms is correct.
The validation of aircraft ADS-B signals (and the position derived from on-board GPS systems) for both manned and unmanned aircraft is critical to maintain the safety of the airspace. All vehicles need to be assured that the position of all platforms is known with a very high integrity. This approach enables fully autonomous operation in those situations it is required.