Honeywell is partnering with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to jointly develop a sense-and-avoid capability for IAI's Heron family of unmanned aerial systems (UASs).
Selected for funding from the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, the system will be demonstrated for the first time on the Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAS platform in 2018. The team was selected following a competitive review process that evaluated projects from many companies, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
"Sense-and-avoid solutions do not currently exist for UASs to operate in a national civilian airspace. With more manned and unmanned vehicles entering that airspace, the need for sense-and-avoid is increasing," said Carey Smith, president, Defense and Space, Honeywell Aerospace.
"Developing a sense-and-avoid system for our Heron UAS is a significant step forward in integrating MALE UASs into civilian airspace," said Joseph Weiss, president and CEO, Israel Aerospace Industries.
The demonstrations and flight tests planned for mid-2018 will be conducted on the IAI Heron 1 UAS. The development work will be executed in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Minneapolis; and Redmond, Washington, as well as in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Flight testing will take place in Israeli airspace. Both companies plan for the full sense-and-avoid solution to be integrated into the Heron family of MALE UASs.