RCASS System Design and Analysis for UAV Applications

Period of Performance: 07/20/2007 - 05/20/2008


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Dr, Suite 190
Rockville, MD 20855
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802
Institution POC


The innovation of this project is a radar based collision avoidance sensor suite (RCASS) that allows small autonomous UAVs to detect cooperative and non-cooperative targets in air spaces co-located with manned air space. The targeted host platforms are small UAVs with 11 foot or shorter wingspans. The proposed RCASS is effective against all air traffic, with or without transponder-based collision avoidance systems such as TCAS or ADS-B. It is even effective for stationary structures such as buildings and towers. It is based on the standard ADS-B signal so no additional spectrum is needed and can leverage many commercial off-the-shelf components in existing transponders. The proposed RCASS does not require modifications to the external air traffic control system in CONUS or worldwide. Therefore, the proposed RCASS should be easier to get FAA's approval and its development and manufacturing cost can be very inexpensive. The proposed RCASS will include omni-directional Radar that can detect the intruder airplane's from all directions (azimuth and elevation) and it will update and maintain its own internal map of the neighborhood air picture, as well as optimizing its actual 3-D trajectory path with its pre-planned 3-D trajectory as a constraint.