Integrated Robotics announces sense-and-avoid breakthrough

By Patrick C. Miller | February 18, 2016

A breakthrough in radar miniaturization and data processing software could provide a key technology development for sense-and-avoid technology needed for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to operate in the national airspace.

Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems Ltd. (IRIS) of Kenai, Alaska, announced a “systems-engineering breakthrough” in the form of a miniature radar and proprietary “smart sensor” data processing software.

This system provides self-adaptive sense and avoid capabilities for ground-to-air, air-to-ground and object detection, according to John Parker, the company's chief operating officer.

The release will be in the form of a SIK (System Integration Kit) of IRIS’s previously validated 10.5GHz radar combined with the addition of a 24GHz FMCW Doppler and a 24GHz (6) Target Tracker miniature radar system. 

Parker said a key value of IRIS’s current SIK and sensors is its use in a wide range of land-air-sea robotics (LASR) systems.

“We’re positioned quite well and things are moving ahead rapidly,” Parker said. “We have a marine system that we’re working on as well. All of it’s focused on detect-and-avoid or object detection. We’re working toward the full air-to-air system that we expect to have done this year.”

Parker credited Jim Blanchard and Brad Norton of the UAS Academy in Warrenton, Virginia, for the rapid progress on the development.

“Their efforts have enabled Integrated Robotics to reach this milestone approximately 18 months ahead of schedule,” he said. “They’re just an unbelievable team.”

The SIKs come with a Target Tracker radar head and the IRIS “Smart Sensor” PC based plug-and-play application for sensor integration teams to conduct radar evaluation research.

“When we get to the full air-to-air system, it will be ready for the FAA,” Parker said. “It has some real implications as it relates to general aviation because we believe that the price point is going to be very attractive to GA that’s not required to have radar, but would certainly benefit from it.”

In 2016, Integrated Robotics will release additional radar front ends for its SIKs.

“Vetted development partners will receive complimentary upgrades to the very favorably priced SIK as they become available,” Parker said.  “Additionally, source code licensing for full integration into non-IRIS commercial products/suites will be available for a nominal licensing fee.”


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