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US Army tests GBSAA system

13th May 2016 - 11:13 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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he US Army has been testing the Ground Based Sense And Avoid (GBSAA) system at its Dugway Proving Ground, it announced on 10 May. The system will allow military operators of UAVs to fly within the National Airspace Space (NAS).

A ground-based radar inputs data to the GBSAA Traffic Display, while on-board aircraft transmitters broadcast position. Data from three different radars are fused and compared to data from the aircraft. A human ground based operator (GBO) monitors the traffic display for aircraft positions, warnings and system health.

The display exhibits concentric rings with distances of two, four and six miles outward, with the UAV at the centre. Aircraft within the four mile ring with a threatening projected trajectory are tagged yellow and prioritised on the alert display. The tag becomes red at the two mile ring if the threat increases, with audio-visual alerts sounded on the alert display.

The alert display notifies the GBO of potential aircraft conflicts monitored by the GBSAA system. The GBO communicates with the aircraft operator directly.

John Innes, test lead, said: ‘The warning system allows, at the minimum, one minute to take corrective action. In actual practice, operators would have longer time to take action.’

The new GBSAA removes the need for a chase plane or ground observer to fly UAVs within the NAS. Developers will return to the testing ground in the autumn of 2016 to complete the final part of the last test, and to conduct one full test. Innes expects continued testing at Dugway as changes and issues within the GBSAA are explored or developed.

At present, the GBSAA is solely for military use and there are no plans to extend it to the commercial sector. GBSAA testing has been successful enough so far for the army to decide to field it at five major stateside installations. The air force and marines have also expressed interest in fielding the system at one of their US installations.

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