Metawave has secured a prime, Phase One contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to participate in Agility Prime initiative, which seeks to improve the capabilities of electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
The company was contracted to deliver a high-precision, all-weather sensing solution for the eVTOL aircraft.
Metawave plans to make modifications to its existing ‘SPEKTRA’ radar in partnership with the Arizona State University Center for Wireless Information Systems and Computational Architectures to support aerial operations.
A compact analogue antenna system, Metawave’s SPEKTRA has provided the automotive industry with high-precision radar capabilities.
The modifications will upgrade the radar system and will increase its operational range to make it a suitable candidate for a rugged sensor system for future eVTOL aircraft to enable safe navigation.
Metawave founder and CEO Maha Achour said: “Both the automotive and eVTOL markets require the highest level of precision delivered by SPEKTRA.
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“For both applications, the ability to reliably distinguish between several objects close together in all weather and light conditions is an important capability for all phases of transport, including flight. The most significant difference is the operational range of the radar.”
AFWERX, the new rapid innovation branch of the USAF, launched the Agility Prime initiative. To date, it has awarded $38m to more than 250 selected proposals for aircraft and flight-enabling technologies.
Once the Phase One is complete, Metawave intends to apply for a Phase Two contract to provide operational radar hardware to USAF personnel.