The U.S. Navy has conducted the first flight test of a new ground-based detect and avoidance system, dubbed Guardian, to assess its capabilities to enable crewed/uncrewed teaming safety.
The test was held at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division headquarters in Patuxent River, where two RQ-21 Blackjacks flew toward each other, while Guardian operators monitored screens displaying the systems’ approach as part of the test plan, Naval Air Systems Command said Monday.
Once the unmanned air vehicles came within 400 feet of each other, Guardian alerted its operators of an imminent collision and made recommendations on avoidance maneuvers.
According to the NAVAIR, Guardian is the only ground-based detect and avoidance system developed in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration’s performance standards for unmanned systems.
“Looking ahead, we’ll put Guardian through complex tests to confirm it will reliably handle congestion in the busiest airspaces as we work toward FAA certification which could significantly reduce Stingray’s developmental test time and costs,” said Lt. Cmdr. Alex Dulude, the Blackjack air vehicle operator supporting Guardian’s first flight.