World-first breakthrough for small unmanned aircraft

World-first breakthrough for small unmanned aircraftQueensland Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) researchers have made what’s believed to be a world-first breakthrough for small Unmanned Aircraft (UA), developing an on board system that has enabled a UA to detect another aircraft using vision while in flight.

During the flight, the onboard system provided real time warnings back to the ground control station, resulting in a successful manual collision avoidance manoeuvre – a critical point for allowing UAs to fly in commercial airspace. The flight trial was carried out in unsegregated, class G airspace.

The research, carried out by QUT’s Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) in conjunction with Boeing Research & Technology – Australia (BR&T-A) and UAS industry leader Insitu Pacific, was successfully proven in recent trials at an airfield north-west of Brisbane.

ARCAA director, QUT Professor Duncan Campbell, put the success of the mission down to high level industry-academic collaboration that brought together some of the best minds in robotic aircraft research anywhere in the world.

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