A UK unmanned air vehicle sense-and-avoid project will continue with a £30.5 million ($46.9 million) second stage, 18 months after its £32 million first phase ended with a simulated UAV flight through UK airspace.

Two projects - separation assurance and control, and autonomy and decision making - will make up the second stage of the Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment (ASTRAEA) programme.

Following phase one, the industrial partners decided to carry on using their own funds while continuing discussions for government support. For the second phase, industry is investing £16 million, the UK government's Technology Strategy Board is giving £4.5 million and regional agencies and government could provide up to £10 million more. Discussions are ongoing with regional agencies and government.

The industrial partners include BAE Systems, Cobham, EADS, Qinetiq and Rolls-Royce. ASTRAEA is part of the UK government's national aerospace technology strategy.

Source: Flight International