Experimental evaluation of picas: an electro-optical array for non-cooperative collision sensing on unmanned aircraft systems

DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.2514/6.2017-0907
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Proceedings titleAIAA Information Systems-AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace
ConferenceAIAA Information Systems-AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace, 9-13 January 2017, Grapevine, Texas, USA
Pages# of pages: 18
AbstractThis paper describes the initial flight test evaluation of the Passive Intelligent Collision Avoidance Sensor (PICAS) developed at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). PICAS represents the latest iteration of a non-cooperative electro-optical (EO) airborne collision sensing instrument designed to explore technology appropriate for under-25 kg Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). PICAS is a prototype, selectively-sampled, multi- camera array mated to a computing platform capable of simultaneously recording and processing images in real-time. A selective sampling approach tailored the sensor to the performance requirement by varying the angular resolution and field of view as a function of azimuth. PICAS was designed to detect a Cessna 172-sized target at 10 km in the head- on direction. The sensor was flight-tested on a Bell 205 rotorcraft acting as a surrogate UAS and flying collision-course intercepts against a Harvard Mark IV intruder. An NRC developed Collision Intercept Display was utilized to provide beyond visual line of sight guidance for both aircraft to conduct the intercepts. Once the collision geometry was coordinated, the Bell 205 switched to automatic operation, controlling altitude, ground- speed and ground-track for the duration of the run. PICAS was operated in pure recording mode, with each camera recording synchronized and time-stamped images at 15 frames per second. The detection performance was evaluated by simulating the real-time processing algorithms against pre-collected imagery and associated aircraft data. Analysis results indicated that PICAS exceeded the minimum detection requirement throughout its field of view for an under-25 kg UAS operating at an airspeed of 80 knots encountering typical (Cessna 172) intruders on co-altitude collision course geometries in Canadian Class G airspace.
Publication date
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
AffiliationAerospace; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number23002412
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Record identifieracd4bf89-367a-478f-9e71-d62b29579f3d
Record created2017-11-07
Record modified2017-11-07
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