Air Force kicks off sensor-fusion program to help UAVs sense and avoid other aircraft in shared airspace

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 18 July 2012. U.S. Air Force researchers are surveying industry for companies able to develop sensor-fusion technology that enables unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to sense and avoid other aircraft while flying in controlled U.S. airspace.

The Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, has released a sources-sought notice (FA8620-12-X-0001) in anticipation of releasing a request for proposals (RFP) for the Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA) program.

ABASSA seeks to develop a sensor- and platform-agnostic sensor-fusion product for a wide variety of UAVs that will enable these unmanned aircraft to operate safely alongside other manned and unmanned aircraft by sensing and avoiding other aircraft to prevent mid-air collisions. The ABASSA product will have software and hardware interfaces necessary to be sensor and platform agnostic.

Sensors will connect to the sensor-fusion product, then to the UAV's flight controls and operator interface. The initial phase of the ABASSA program will use traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS), automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast (ADS-B), radar, and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) input while allowing easy integration of other sensor types in the future.

The first UAV to receive ABASSA technology will be the RQ-4 Global Hawk, yet the system will be scalable to accommodate all kinds of UAVs in the future. ABSAA will provide follow-on capabilities for sense and avoid as demonstrated earlier by the Multiple Intruder Avoidance Algorithm (MIAA) program, conducted by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Air Force officials say.

Companies interested should respond no later than 3 Aug. 2012 with statements of capabilities containing no classified information. Submit responses by e-mail to Air Force Capt. Chris Hearl at No contracts will result from this sources-sought notice.

For questions or concerns contact Mathias Kohnen, the ABASSA lead engineer, by phone at 937-656-7855, or by e-mail at Also contact Paul Schaeffer, the ABASSA program manager, by hone at 937-255-9219 or by e-mail at

More information is online at

Follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.

The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video of Leon Woo, VP of Engineering at Mercury Systems, on the role of innovation. Then, answer 3 simple questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!


Featured Slideshow

Evolution of the American soldier

The American soldier has come a long way since the beginning of the Republic 237 years ago. While uniforms for early soldiers were based on cost and utility, soldiers' clothing eventually considered ballistic protection, increasing storage space, protection from poison gas and other contaminants.

Wire News provided by   

Most Popular Articles


On Demand Webcasts

Engineering the VPX high-speed data path for physical and signal integrity

Join Arrow Electronics and TE Connectivity, for an overview webinar of the standards, technologies and trends involving VITA and TE.

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

social activity

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles