Raytheon’s Ground Based Detect and Avoid system has been made operational at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
It will be used to test the safety and efficiency of small drone operations in the 200 square mile drone test range.
Matt Gilligan, VP of intelligence, information and services business at Raytheon, commented: “GBDAA allows drone pilots to make safe decisions about flight maneuvers beyond visual line of sight without using ground observers or chase planes.”
He added: “The data gathered at this test site will go a long way toward ensuring the safe integration of drones throughout the national airspace system.”
The system has been contracted by the US Air Force through the Department of Transportation’s VOLPE centre.
Raytheon described its system as a key component of SkyVision, the only mobile beyond visual line-of-sight system certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to provide drone operators with real-time aircraft display data.
SkyVision operators inside the mobile unit will give drone pilots situational awareness and proximity alerts by syncing their display with the drone pilot’s display, allowing for safe passage through the airspace by showing airborne tracks from multiple sensors.
GBDAA comes in numerous configurations to meet varying mission needs.
The US military uses a fixed version to manage larger unmanned systems like the Predator, Reaper, and Global Hawk.