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uAvionix Partners with Iris Automation

Low-Altitude BVLOS Solution Pending

Iris Automation, a startup company about the business of developing an artificial intelligence-based collision-avoidance system for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has partnered with uAvionix to integrate the former’s Casia G ground-based collision avoidance data into uAvionix’s SkyLine services for combined Command and Control (C2) and Detect and Avoid (DAA) services. The described combination stands to enable operators of uncrewed aircraft to obtain comprehensive low-altitude airspace awareness and best-in-class command-and-control connectivity at price-points not antithetical to the economic advantages instantiated by small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS).

uAvionix Uncrewed Systems managing director Christian Ramsey stated: “Integration of the Iris’ Casia G data is another step toward enabling scalable and achievable Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights for UAS operators. With better range than the human eye and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze the optical image, the system can rapidly detect and classify other aircraft or objects in the air. That data is then ingested and combined with other sensor data, including ADS-B, and displayed for UAS operators in the SkyLine system. It’s the type of novel integration and approach that we feel is important for a Command and Control Communications Service Provider (C2CSP) to provide and one that we have seen successfully meets the safety, efficiency, and reliably needs of rapidly evolving UAS operations.”

21st Century air traffic comprises two discrete facets: cooperative aircraft which share position data through transponders or Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) and non-cooperative aircraft that do not share position data. uAvionix, by dint of proven ADS-B IN solutions the likes of the company’s pingRX Pro and pingStation3 solutions, has established itself as a market-leader in the cooperative aircraft detection sector. uAvionix’s SkyLine software services bring additional value to UAS operators by visualizing air traffic (ADS-B) data within the first cloud-based C2 network management platform. The resultant combination provides full-optimization of aircrafts’ C2 communications links and enhanced situational awareness for remote UAS operators. The proven and scalable uAvionix SkyLine system—inclusive of airborne radios, ground stations, and DAA sensor data—is at the heart of two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) BVLOS waivers and the recent FAA BVLOS exemption granted to uAvionix.

Iris Automation CEO Jon Damush set forth: “We couldn’t be more excited for this partnership. uAvionix has long been an industry leader in our space, and their ability to combine multiple technologies to address long standing gaps in our market is unmatched. Combining reliable and protected C2 communications with comprehensive situational awareness just makes sense. With the addition of our non-cooperative aircraft detection data, operators will now have a turn-key solution for their BVLOS operations.”

Iris Automation’s Casia system utilizes computer vision and AI to detect non-cooperative intruder aircraft likely to occasion well clear breaches or Near Mid-Air Collisions (NMAC), thereby providing time for uncrewed aircraft to alter their flight paths and grant right-of-way to crewed aircraft. Iris’s Casia G system is a ground-based variant of the selfsame technology and provides a large area of coverage expandable based on the number of ground-based nodes deployed.

The data produced by Iris’s Casia G system serves as a natural complement to ADS-B data available through uAvionix by allowing cooperative aircraft positions to be validated through two independent sensors and rapid identification of non-cooperative aircraft. In combination, the uAvionix and Iris systems afford UAS operators a level of comprehensive situational awareness exceeding extant single-sensor-based systems.

The partnership will take a cue from SkyLine, uAvionix’s ground-breaking C2CSP solution, which leverages path and frequency diversity to provide operators proven optimization of C2 connectivity. By directly integrating the Casia G data into the uAvionix SkyLine system, multiple and diverse air traffic data points from both cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft will be displayed and utilized by UAS operators for DAA functions.

The two companies are actively collaborating on the integration of the Casia G data into the SkyLine service using field tests and operational scenarios. The resulting capability for advanced airspace awareness and command-and-control is expected to be available for UAS operators in late 2023.



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