Collision avoidance: Iris Automation and Becker Avionics

Collision avoidance between manned and unmanned aircraft is critical. Now Becker Avionics and drone collision avoidance developer Iris Automation want to improve the general flight safety of pilots.

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

World-renowned aviation supplier Becker Avionics has teamed up with commercial drone safety innovator Iris Automation to increase situational awareness among general aviation pilots and improve the safety of UAVs. The partnership will develop an unnecessary safety enhancing equipment system to detect and warn pilots of nearby, potentially threatening aircraft.

The collision avoidance system from Iris Automation and Becker Avionics is based on computer vision and machine learning to “see” approaching aircraft from outside the pilot’s field of vision that pose a danger to the equipped aircraft and issue 3D audio warnings. The system combines the Casia detection and warning technology from Iris Automation with the expertise of Becker Avionics in the field of communication and navigation equipment for manned and unmanned airborne applications alike.

“This relationship is a critical step for Iris Automation as it defines and accelerates our work in general aviation,” said Jon Damush, CEO of Iris Automation. “Our core mission is to improve flight safety by avoiding collisions, and this expansion of our technology is a natural evolution. We are excited to partner with one of the most recognized brands in the industry to deliver this important innovation. “

How the collision avoidance systems will work

Many aircraft are equipped with radio-based signaling technology (ADS-B) to avoid collisions in the air. In some airspaces, however, traditional ADS-B signals are not available, adding to the workload for a pilot to monitor incoming aircraft. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that 1,450 near-air collisions were reported from 2016 to 2020. According to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF), 82 percent of collisions in the air occur from behind. This risk is particularly acute for the $ 48 billion helicopter market with over 38,000 aircraft in service around the world.

The optoelectronic and audio system from Iris Automation and Becker Avionics monitors the airspace under visual flight conditions independently on board the pilot aircraft, even if ADS-B or TCAS signals are not available. Both in the cockpit and in the remote control, it supplements the pilots’ situational awareness during instrument scans or other parts of the airspace. By warning pilots in a timely manner so that they can take appropriate action to avoid potential collisions, the system is designed to improve safety with minimal impact on the pilot’s workload.

“For 65 years, Becker Avionics has been providing reliable aviation equipment that enables compliance with legal requirements and the safety of aviators,” said Roland Becker, CEO of Becker Avionics. “Partnering with an innovator like Iris Automation will enable our customers to use advanced technology to fly safer, especially when airspace congestion increases. Customers are very interested in this type of solution and our ability to meet both their cockpit and remote pilot safety requirements is unique in the industry.

Ian attended the Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now a contributor to DroneLife.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional marketplace for drone services, and a passionate observer of the emerging drone industry and regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for emerging technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.

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