USAF seeks aircraft ‘sense and avoid’ capabilities

The Air Force has asked industry about the latest advances in remotely piloted aircraft sense and avoid capabilities, as it seeks to develop a prototype system that meets certain technical readiness levels by 2020.

“As weapon systems have become increasingly complex, so have the environments in which they are expected to operate,” the Air Force wrote in a new request for information.

Sense and avoid capabilities must enable these aircraft to keep far enough away to avoid collisions in the air. A system must also integrate with other airspace users across a range of operations in global airspace environments, such as the National Airspace, International Civil Aviation Organization, and military airspace.

By 2020, the Air Force wants a system model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment. That equates to a Technology Readiness Level 6.

Under this RFI, the Air Force is determining the existing and emerging developmental, commercial-off-the shelf, or government-off-the-shelf technology solutions to address the requirements for sense and avoid capabilities.

In white papers, the Air Force wants to know how the solution addresses the capability requirements, cost information as it relates to each solution, and discussions on the limitations that are foresee with the use of the solution.

The Air Force issued the RFI Jan. 12. Responses are due by Feb. 15.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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