25 May 2012 Flight test evaluation of a prototype optical instrument for airborne sense-and-avoid applications
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Abstract
A prototype, wide-field, optical sense-and-avoid instrument was constructed from low-cost commercial off-the-shelf components, and configured as a network of smart camera nodes. To detect small, general-aviation aircraft in a timely manner, such a sensor must detect targets at a range of 5-10 km at an update rate of a few Hz. This paper evaluates the flight test performance of the "DragonflEYE" sensor as installed on a Bell 205 helicopter. Both the Bell 205 and the Bell 206 (intruder aircraft) were fully instrumented to record position and orientation. Emphasis was given to the critical case of head-on collisions at typical general aviation altitudes and airspeeds. Imagery from the DragonflEYE was stored for the offline assessment of performance. Methodologies for assessing the key figures of merit, such as the signal-to-noise ratio, the range at first detection (R0) and angular target size were developed. Preliminary analysis indicated an airborne detection range of 6:7 km under typical visual meteorological conditions, which significantly exceeded typical visual acquisition ranges under the same conditions.
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Cyrus Minwalla, Cyrus Minwalla, Paul Thomas, Paul Thomas, Kristopher Ellis, Kristopher Ellis, Richard Hornsey, Richard Hornsey, Sion Jennings, Sion Jennings, } "Flight test evaluation of a prototype optical instrument for airborne sense-and-avoid applications", Proc. SPIE 8387, Unmanned Systems Technology XIV, 83870R (25 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918641; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.918641
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