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Diehl and HENSOLDT tested in flight trials in July and August 2019 together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), a new sensor system to increase air safety. The idea is to prevent collisions between aircraft. In the future, the tested sensors could for detecting and avoiding collisions ( "Sense & Avoid") for the first time allow the authorization and operation of unmanned aviation systems ( "drones") in German airspace.

A Dornier Do 228, which is operated by the DLR as a research aircraft, was equipped by Diehl and HENSOLDT with a "dual-mode sensor suite". The suite consists of radar and electro-optical sensors whose signals are combined via software with each other.

Diehl a series of high-resolution cameras that capture the space ahead of the aircraft as well as laterally comes. It was demonstrated that this system can replace the pilot's view and significantly increases the accuracy of the overall system. The module is lightweight and compact and can be flexibly adapted to the requirements of different aircraft.

The "Detect-and-Avoid" radar of HENSOLDT works with the technology of electronic beam steering (Active Electronically Scanned Array AESA). This makes it possible to perform several tasks simultaneously detect and identify objects very quickly. Because of radar technology, the direction of flight of objects in their flight path can be measured precisely to warn sufficient time to possible collisions. With its unique detection properties of the multi-function radar for military and civilian drones, z. As for the freight delivery, alike. Also, the sensor also handles all functions of a weather radar.

The combination of these two technologies (dual-mode sensor) is suitable for unmanned aerial vehicles of different sizes and together has excellent detection properties.

The universal DLR research aircraft Do 228 is regularly equipped as a flying platform for a variety of research tasks and used. For the research in unmanned aviation systems it serves as a "national sense & avoid demonstrator". By means of a novel digital autopilot, the aircraft can be automatically controlled from a ground station. So it can safely simulate an unmanned aviation system as more and two safety pilot on board the aircraft. The flight tests were conducted as part of the project "Project Sense and Avoid - national" instead (prose-n), which (BAAINBw) has been commissioned by the Federal Office for equipment, information technology and use of the armed forces.

The carried out test flights one more test aircraft was used in addition to the Do 228 DLR. This flew extensive maneuvers from different directions and heights and should thereby be detected by the sensor of the Do 228th It was found in the flight tests that the sensor suite detect the other aircraft, even at long range, reliable, accurate and pursue their own aircraft could warn of a potential collision course in time.

Gerhard Heiming