SARA is pleased to introduce the design and integration of an innovative platform-specific acoustic tracking array for use with SARA’s Passive Acoustic Non-cooperative Collision Avoidance System (PANCAS) onto the FVR-90 Vertical Takeoff and Landing VTOL capable Class II Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). For this Phase I project SARA intends to fuse our IR&D developed TRL-6 PANCAS target tracking technology with an acoustic array specifically targeted to the FVR-90 UAV enabling the safe, efficient, and successful execution of Beyond‑Visual-Line‑Of‑Sight (BVLOS) missions by providing the air platform with a means to Detect-And-Avoid (DAA) potential collision events with non-cooperative aircraft in addition to enabling the capability of Acoustic-Multiple-Target-Of-Interest tracking and characterization. All BVLOS missions for UAVs require systems which provide the onboard artificial intelligence (advanced autopilot) or Pilot-In-Control (PIC) a steady feed of situational awareness data to minimize the probability of a collision with nearby aircraft; the proposed array will be capable of measuring and reporting this required data with the added capability of allowing for the identification, characterization, and tracking of acoustically emissive nearby targets (nearby aircraft, “Go-fast” boats, and any other surface targets that make noise). The convolution of SARA’s PANCAS system with the proposed FVR-90 tailored acoustic array provides the platform a capability to Acoustically Detect and Range targets while providing a massive Improvement in Situational Awareness and thus has been named (ADRISA). The challenges to the development of a mission capable BVLOS system, the need for low SWAP-C components, data processing core algorithms, a data feed for maneuvering decision methodologies are addressed by SARA owned foundational technologies which tackle the critical need, market demand, and capability-within-reach nature of this proposed system.
SARA’s dedication to developing an innovative acoustic sensor array for the FVR-90 UAS meets NASA’s needs for UAV capable of BVLOS flight in the NAS. Commercial applications of BVLOS flight is directly beneficial to NASA in that certification opens the pathway to the development of advanced Unmanned Traffic Management systems, fast and efficient planetary surface monitoring, environmental surveillance and most important the capability to safely navigate the NAS without a “tethered” pilot.
Commercial partners have specified interest in an acoustic target detection product that can cue a pilot or an onboard camera to enable surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities which, until now, have been exceedingly difficult to execute. Furthermore, advanced designed of ADRISA acoustic detection arrays will enable the detection-tracking and identification of a multitude of acoustic sources.