Schiebel has successfully completed a series of flight tests of the newly developed airborne detect and avoid system onboard its Camcopter S-100 unmanned aircraft system (UAS), at the airport of Den Helder in the Netherlands.

The testing was carried out in December last year by Schiebel in collaboration with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), the Netherlands Coastguard and the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The ATM Innovative RPAS Integration for Coastguard Applications (AIRICA) project marks a major step forward in the process of safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) into all classes of airspace.

As part of the testing, the Camcopter S-100 was equipped with the NLR developed AirScout detect and avoid system.

The Netherlands Coastguard provided a Dornier Do-228 as ‘intruder’ and the Royal Netherlands Air Force contributed an Alouette helicopter as another ‘intruder’, and provided the Air Traffic Control services.

It is reported that several scenarios were successfully executed where the Camcopter S-100 ‘unexpectedly’ encountered an intruder aircraft.

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The system then determined in real time the corrective action to ensure the necessary separation from the intruder aircraft.

"These trials are important to achieve regulations for bringing RPAS into non-segregated airspace."

Kustwacht Operations head Edwin van der Pol said: "In the future we hope to use unmanned systems for our search and rescue operations.

"These trials are important to achieve regulations for bringing RPAS into non-segregated airspace."

The AIRICA project is funded through the European SESAR programme and is mainly focused on integration of an RPAS into the airspace for Netherlands Coast Guard´s applications which was effectively showed during the flights.

Schiebel Capability Engineering head Chris Day said: "This demonstration is another positive step towards unmanned air systems gaining access to a broader range of airspace."

Image: A Camcopter S-100 unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Photo: courtesy of Schiebel Corporation.