The UK's Lancaster University has won a £225,000 ($445,000) contract for research into adaptive routeing and collision avoidance systems for unmanned air vehicles as part of the UK's £32 million Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment (ASTRAEA) programme.

ASTRAEA aims to enable routine UAV flights in UK civil airspace. Working closely with BAE Systems, the university will develop software algorithms for two ASTRAEA projects, one on adaptive routeing and the second on collision avoidance.

"We started work on ASTRAEA recently and we plan to use an adaptive approach to the problem of collision avoidance. We consider the problem of estimating the risk of a collision separately from the problem of what actions need to be taken to avoid a collision," says the university's principal investigator Plamen Angelov. "We have some original ideas on both approaches that are suitable for real-time application. Further, we intend to use 'fuzzy logic' and 'fuzzy decision making' in real-time."

The ASTRAEA partners include other universities and industry members EADS, Flight Refuelling, Qinetiq, Rolls-Royce and Thales UK. The UK government is also involved in the project.

Source: Flight International