Group 4-5 UAS integration of terminal area sensors & operations in the terminal area for Airborne Sense and Avoid

Period of Performance: 09/06/2013 - 06/06/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Systems & Technology Research
600 West Cummings Park Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Integration of track data from Ground Based Sense and Avoid (GBSAA) and Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA) systems offer the possibility of significantly improved terminal airspace tracks because they often have complementary sensing geometries and measurement error statistics. Systems & Technology Research (STR) proposes a Phase I effort to develop a multi-hypothesis tracking and fusion capability that combines track data from ABSAA EO and radar sensors as well as GBSAA radar trackers. We will evaluate the performance of these algorithms on available sensor data and demonstrate the improved tracking accuracy resulting from the combination of ABSAA and GBSAA measurements. BENEFIT: A robust multi-sensor integration capability for detecting airspace intruders will increase the operational capability of unmanned systems. Our track integration approach that combines airborne EO, airborne radar and ground radar tracks will yield improved tracking performance over each modality on each own. These benefits arise from the following integration processing improvements: (1) The ground and air radars will have different look angles to the intruders and thus integration can mitigate their respective cross-range errors. (2) The ground radar will have a larger field of regard than either the air EO or air radar sensors and thus integration can mitigate the airborne sensor detection limitations. (3) The air and ground sensors will have different probabilities of detection due to different operating bands, geometries, and phenomenology; thus integration will provide a more complete picture of potential intruders. (4) The air and ground sensors will have different false alarm statistics, also due to different operating bands, geometries, and phenomenology; thus integration will reduce false tracks. (5) The air radar tends to generate false tracks due to main beam ground clutter; but with anticipated upgrades to ground radar systems, improved elevation estimates will enable better clutter mitigation via correlation between air and ground tracks. Our track integration algorithms may be used in next generation sense-and-avoid systems by replacing the data fusion portion of more limited systems or by post-processing outputs of existing limited trackers to produce the integrated track results.