SARA’s Passive Acoustic Non-cooperative Collision Avoidance (PANCAS) system is a novel, UAS-borne acoustic sensor that detects collision threat aircraft in support of an overall Detect, Alert and Avoid (DAA) function. PANCAS demonstrates high probability of aircraft detection over a 360o field-of-regard in a remarkably light and low-power system. In Phase I we designed a PANCAS prototype integration for the HQ-90 UAS that NASA will use in its Resilient Autonomy program. This system is designed for rural, low and medium risk air spaces, such as are found in un-populated environments. Acoustic sensing for aviation is a largely untapped capability, offering even greater future capability for autonomous UAS. In Phase II SARA will leverage NASA data collected in Resilient Autonomy to develop detection capabilities that will be critical for NASA’s vision for urban air mobility (UAM). We will leverage the PANCAS integration from Resilient Autonomy to integrate these advanced capabilities and flight test them in a simulated urban environment.
SARA’s introduction of PANCAS for airborne acoustic situational awareness with NASA’s UAM team will help advance the development of an ultra safe and efficient system for air passenger and cargo transportation within urban environments. NASA’s flight tests with PANCAS in support of EVAA versus a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, combined with SARA’s independently developed Metric Evaluation Stack AI analysis tool, will provide relevant DAA data towards understanding the full integration of UAS in the NAS for Urban Air Mobility.
SARA’s PANCAS detect and avoid solutions present the first realistic opportunity for small UAS to operate beyond visual line of sight in the NAS or operate safely and satisfy “due regard” in international waters. This low SWAP, low cost, long range 360 degree capability create an exciting opportunity to unlock airborne robotics in commercial industry and civil / federal government applications.