Airborne Sense-and-Avoid Radar for UAVs

The ABSAA radar panel installed on a Twin Otter aircraft.

Widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) within the National Airspace System is limited because of regulatory restrictions on their access to shared airspace. The Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA) Radar Panel, a phased array antenna developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, has the potential to facilitate the introduction of UAVs into the national airspace.

The lightweight sensor enables an onboard sense-and-avoid system that performs quick and repeatable scanning of the search region, meets the exacting surveillance timeline demanded of a sense-and-avoid system, and is reliable. The ABSAA panel satisfies the constrained size, weight, and power requirements for small platforms such as UAVs, and supports both aircraft-detecting and weather-sensing modes in a single, multifunction aperture.