Test Flights to Demonstrate Effectiveness of a Ground-Based Detect and Avoid Integration Concept
The VUSIL program (“Validierung von UAS zur Integration in den Luftraum” in German) has developed a concept for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into uncontrolled nonsegregated airspace, which is also used by manned civil aviation.
For the integration of UAS it is necessary for the unmanned aircraft (UA) pilot to be aware of the surrounding traffic in order to recognize and resolve possible conflicts. In the VUSIL program, the surrounding traffic was indicated on a display in the pilot ground control station (GCS), based on radar data provided by the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP).
In addition, the pilot was supported by means of a “detect and avoid” tool in detecting potential conflicts. This tool shows conflicts and possible avoidance maneuvers on a separate display. To validate the integration concept, two flight campaigns with two different UAS (helicopter and fixed-wing UAS), and several intruders were conducted.
In the first flight campaign, the intruders for the real flying UAS were simulated. In the second flight campaign, the intruder was a manned helicopter. The concept has been validated by the results of both flight campaigns and by a safety analysis.
The latter has addressed demonstrating the equivalent level of safety (ELOS) of “see and avoid” in manned aviation and “detect and avoid” as developed in the VUSIL program.
KeywordsRadar Data Flight Test Integration Concept Unmanned Aircraft System International Civil Aviation Organization
The two projects in the VUSIL program were lead and conducted by the Research and Development Centre of DFS. The first project (VUSIL I) was sponsored by the German Ministry of Transport (“Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung”); the second project was financed by the German Federal Police in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (“Bundesministerium des Inneren”). Both projects would not have been realized without their support.
Partners in the VUSIL I project were:
• DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS)
• ESG GmbH (responsible for the SAAFu)
• Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB)
• EMT GmbH (manufacturer of the UAS “LUNA”)
• Based on the results of the VUSIL I project, the VUSIL II project was set up. The project started in October 2009 and finished at the end of 2010. The partners of VUSIL I were again participating in the project. In addition the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) with the “Institute of Flight Guidance” in Braunschweig and the “Institute of Flight Psychology” in Hamburg, as well as Swiss UAV providing a helicopter type UAS (called “NEO”), completed the team. As external partner, the NATO department “Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (CEO CSW)” organized the flight trials. From the contracting body, the Federal Police, a helicopter participated as intruder for the UAS. The German Federal Aviation Office (LBA) attended the projects as observer.
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