Northrop Grumman to provide BAMS UAV with autonomous capability to sense and avoid other aircraft
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 20 Feb. 2011. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designers at the Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems sector in Bethpage, N.Y., will enable the U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV to autonomously sense and avoid other nearby aircraft to maintain safe separation and avoid mid-air collisions under terms of a $25.6 million contract announced Friday.
UAV systems designers are putting substantial time, money, and energy to enable UAVs to sense and avoid other aircraft so they can operate safely alongside commercial and general-aviation aircraft in civil controlled airspace.
With this kind of UAV sense and avoid capability, if certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), UAVs such as BAMS not only could fulfill military surveillance and reconnaissance missions in war zones and outside of civil controlled airspace, but they also might be able to handle surveillance in and around large cities with complicated, congested airspace, as well as near sensitive border areas.
On this contract, Northrop Grumman will do the work in Bethpage, N.Y., and in San Diego, and should be finished by November 2012. Awarding the contract were officials of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.