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Optical Collision Avoidance


The Technology

SARA's Optical Collision Avoidance Technology is perfectly suited for Mini and Tactical UAVs. Through the use of digital optics and machine vision techniques a completely automatic 'sense and avoid' response can be integrated into almost any UAV platform. Optical collision avoidance has a smaller size and weight impact on a UAV than RADAR and is completely passive, reducing detectability compared to RADAR. Radars are the traditional approach used to detect non-cooperative airborne targets and have inherent advantages in providing direct range and range-rate information and operate in almost all weather. However, they are prohibitively large, expensive and heavy for UAVs in the small and tactical classes. UAVs with Optical Collision Avoidance technology can be expected to operate more securely in crowded airspaces, ensuring not only their survivability but the safety of other manned and unmanned aircraft traversing the airspace.

An example of a self-contained OCA system for General Aviation.

The Applications

  • OCA allows a UAV to detect an approaching aircraft, recognize the potential for a collision, and change course to maintain safe separation distances, with or without operator intervention.
  • Many potential uses in law enforcement, homeland security, agriculture, and other civilian areas where contact with other aircraft are likely.

SARA Optical Collision Avoidance Technology in Action on a UAV.

The Advantages

  • Weighing 4 ounces, dramatically lower than comparable RADAR systems.
  • At less than 6" x 4" x 2" it is small enough to integrate into any Class I, II, or III UAV.
  • USB port provides target list and other system information allows SARA's OCA to be integrated with existing systems .
  • Requires no communication or cooperation with approaching aircraft.
  • Can provide feedback to a remote operator or directly initiate an avoidance maneuver.
  • Only consumes 1 watt of power.
  • Passively monitors 122º x 10º field of regard.
  • No ferrous parts to conflict with magnetic compass sensors.
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