Radar Reinvented: Radars for Counter-UAS, Base & Asset Security, and Portable ISR

Echodyne Radar Integrated into BVLOS UAS

Echodyne's EchoFlight radar is fitted on each wing of American Aerospace Technologies Inc's AiRanger UAS, providing the detect-and-avoid (DAA) system with adequate time and information to take avoidance measures By Joseph Macey / 16 May 2024
Echodyne Radar Integrated into BVLOS UAS
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Echodyne‘s EchoFlight radar has been integrated into the American Aerospace Technologies, Inc. (AATI) AiRanger aircraft.

The aircraft recently obtained a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for commercial Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) flight operations.

The waiver permits AATI to use the onboard detect-and-avoid (DAA) system for adhering to aircraft right-of-way rules during BVLOS operations. The AiRanger is believed to be the first unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to meet industry consensus standards for the DAA system. 

The FAA approval allows AATI’s AiRanger – a 220-pound aircraft capable of flying for 12 hours and up to 750 miles at altitudes to 12,000’ MSL – to conduct commercial operations at medium altitudes under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) beyond the pilot’s line of sight and without airborne or ground observers.

The AiRanger’s initial deployment will be for critical infrastructure patrol, threat detection and reporting, focusing on pipeline surveillance. The operation is said to be vital for maintaining pipeline integrity and safety, and ensuring quick response to potential hazards or leaks. 

EchoFlight radar is integrated into a pod on each wing of the AiRanger aircraft, providing the necessary visibility to meet minimum operational performance standards (MOPS). The detection and tracking ranges provided by EchoFlight provide the DAA system with sufficient time and information to take avoidance measures and maintain operational safety. 

David Yoel, CEO at American Aerospace Technologies, Inc., said; “With the granting of the FAA waiver, it showcases how this entire process has been truly a multi-party collaborative endeavor and AATI is grateful to Echodyne for their steadfast and exceptional support throughout the multi-year effort.

“Echodyne’s EchoFlight radar provides unparalleled data fidelity and precision, and this first-of-its-kind waiver is evidence of radar’s role in providing the situational awareness necessary for successful detect-and-avoid systems.” 

Eben Frankenberg, CEO at Echodyne, added; “As all stakeholders in the unmanned aviation industry are aware, it takes a village to develop such a complex aviation navigation system that receives regulatory approval.

The integration of our EchoFlight radar into the AiRanger is one critical piece of many in the puzzle to create the safety case for BVLOS flight operation. We’re ecstatic to share in this milestone industry moment and are proud to see the value of radar realized in the commercialization of BVLOS operations.”

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