Barron Associates to find ways of giving UAVs the ability to see and avoid nearby aircraft

Posted by John Keller

WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 18 April 2010. Specialists in intelligent and adaptive technologies at Barron Associates Inc. in Charlottesville, Va., are helping the U.S. Force find ways for manned and unmanned aircraft to operate together or in confined airspace without colliding with one other.

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is awarding Barron Associates a $2.4 million contract for the Multi-Vehicle Unmanned Aircraft Systems Sense And Avoid (MUSAA) program to develop autonomous sense-and-avoid (SAA) collision-avoidance technology for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to prevent them from hitting or interfering with other manned and unmanned aircraft.

As part of their MUSAA program contract, Barron Associates experts will uncover ways for UAVs to merge seamlessly across the spectrum of piloted operations by enabling UAVs to perform the same essential functions as a human aircraft pilot -- see and avoid other aircraft.

Barron Associates specializes in intelligent and adaptive technologies to measure, model, predict, and control complex systems to improve performance, safety, and efficiency. The firm develops technology to give machines the ability to learn and adapt to new and unforeseen conditions.

When a human expert faces an extreme condition, he often reacts with intellect and subjective responses, company officials say. Barron Associates tries to provide the expertise, tools, and technologies to help eliminate subjective response and replace it with quantifiable measurements, learned models, accurate predictions. and automated control.

In their MUSAA program research, Barron Associates will look into how sensors, communication bandwidth, and power should be allocated; rules for sharing of aircraft control; human machine interfaces (HMIs); sense-and-avoid capability for one UAV pilot operating several unmanned aircraft, or operating one or more UAVs in manned formation; and interaction between several UAVs and several conflict aircraft.

For more information contact Barron Associates online at


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