AUVSI: Sense-and-avoid efforts lagging

Washington DC
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Dr Gerald Sayer, president of GL International, rounded up current efforts to develop and standardize sense-and-avoid technologies and use, considered crucial for allowing UAVs to share airspace with crewed aircraft, during yesterday's conference technical sessions.

"We need better sensors in some areas," says Sayer. "We're still working on the algorithms, but progress is being made."

There are a number of companies working on such technologies and several official efforts to harmonize standards and regulations. Such groups include the US Federal Aviation Administration, US Department of Defense, US Navy and NASA. In spite of projections, the integration effort is taking much longer than expected.

"We're supposed to have six test sites. Unfortunately privacy issues came up and a lot of people are hiding behind that. The test sites should have been selected last year, and they're still not. Some states have passed legislation saying they don't want it," says Sayer.