Ciconia Ltd., a leading provider of advanced aviation technologies, has recently concluded a successful series of flight tests that demonstrated the effectiveness of its C&CAS (Coordination & Collision Avoidance System) in resolving pre-planned midair conflicts between a drone and a helicopter. The tests were conducted in Israel between January and February 2023 as part of the INDI (Israeli National Drone Initiative).
The C&CAS is a decentralized Collision Avoidance System that is designed for both small UAVs and large aerial vehicles. During the flight tests, the C&CAS successfully resolved all pre-planned midair conflicts between the two aerial vehicles, which were part of a first responder’s scenario that involved a medical evacuation helicopter and a fire fighter’s drone that was monitoring a fire.
Dror Bed David, an SME for INDI, stated that “Ciconia’s C&CAS successfully demonstrated a key enabler to the efficient usage of aerial assets in case of emergency operations like firefighting, disaster relief, and more.”
The C&CAS is a lightweight, low energy consumption, V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) hybrid decentralized collision avoidance system that was installed onboard both aerial vehicles and monitored both platforms. Only when relevant, the C&CAS informs its own platform’s pilots, those onboard and remote, that there is another platform and its relative location and vector.
According to Dr. Ilan Zohar, Ciconia’s CTO, “The C&CAS performed very well, it resolved all midair conflicts as it should, with no false alarms, negative or positive.” Captain Gil Yannai, Ciconia’s VP BD, who is also an experimental test pilot and a captain for El-AL airlines, noted that the C&CAS enables close proximity operations of crewed and uncrewed aerial vehicles of all kinds without loading the pilots with unnecessary data.
Moshe Cohen, CEO of Ciconia, said that the C&CAS allows for many airborne vehicles to operate simultaneously in a given airspace while improving the safety of flight. Following the award of a BIRD foundation HLS grant, Ciconia Ltd. and Sagetech Avionics Inc. are in the process of installing C&CAS on first responder airborne fleets: helicopters, airplanes, and drones. Thus, drones and fire fighter helicopters and planes will be able to operate together, safely, in a confined airspace.