Sense and Avoid Development in Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Kavanagh, Sean Michael
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Middle Tennessee State University
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) represent a new frontier in aviation. The commercial applications are limitless and private industry is continuously creating new and innovative ways to utilize this technology. Package delivery, utilities maintenance, real estate appraisals and remote wireless internet access are just a few of the ways UAS can be used. In fact, it is likely that the most innovative ideas of how best to use this technology have not even been thought up yet. However, before one can have a pizza delivered to their home by UAS, there must be a means of ensuring that a UAS can travel to and from a home in a safe manner.
This thesis focused on the solution for the above mentioned problem, a technology called Sense and Avoid (S&A). This thesis was primarily concerned with finding the current state of S&A’s development. This technology is essential to UAS integration, but, due to the wide variety of UAS performance abilities and size, it was discovered that S&A is not a “one size fits all” solution. It was discovered that larger category UAS should minimally affect current NAS users. It is the integration of smaller category UAS where the majority of “outside of the box” thinking will be needed. Smaller category UAS will not fully, if at all, integrate into the NAS. The commercial applications for these small UAS would not put them in traditional air traffic controlled airspace. They will operate much closer to ground level in residential neighborhoods and business parks. S&A solutions for both larger and smaller category UAS will be fundamentally alike, but there will be significant differences in the application of them.
Avoid, Sense, UAS