Insitu has demonstrated a ground-based airspace situational awareness system to help unmanned aerial systems detect nearby aircraft.

The ground-based Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) airspace situational awareness system was developed in Australia.

Insitu said that the system was developed with beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capability for commercial UAS ground control operators to avoid ‘non-cooperative’ traffic during flight operations.

Insitu commercial vice-president and general manager Mark Bauman said: “We’re developing our ability to fly long distances with our UASs that satisfies the airspace regulators, providing UAS operators with access to information that we previously just couldn’t obtain otherwise.

“The system features radio over internet protocol (ROIP) to expand its ability to communicate with air traffic control and local traffic in the flight path.”

“Now, we can prevent conflicts far more reliably and will be able to access wide areas for commercial purposes. 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 US.”

The system features radio over internet protocol (ROIP) to expand its ability to communicate with air traffic control and local traffic in the flight path.

It also combines Airborne Dependent Surveillance-Broadcasts (ADS-B) and transponder returns to enable ground control system operators to see the local airspace data in real-time.

Operators will be able to use the system to collect and analyse data on a broad scale with the help of an airborne platform. The data can then be used for informed decision-making.

The system was designed, built and tested by Insitu in collaboration with Phantom Works through a Queensland government-sponsored programme.

Insitu and Phantom Works are subsidiaries of aircraft maker Boeing.

The BVLOS system test was carried out in November last year at the Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Center.