Ready to take off? - Towards Detect and Avoid for Commercial UAVs
Commercial drones, and the business models they enable, will truly take off when fleets of UAVs can operate autonomously in shared airspace.
For this to happen, UAVs need to be able to fly beyond the visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) of remote human pilots, and the technologies that make this possible need to come at an acceptable size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C).
This whitepaper focuses on the technical challenges standing in the way of UAV autonomy, including last resort tactical airspace deconfliction by means of onboard sensing, also known as Detect and Avoid (DAA).
We also consider the safety goal posts, what can be achieved with different sensors and data processing techniques, and whether we can meet industry needs for SWaP-C and chart a course towards certification.