Cart: $0.00 - (0 items )

Embraer, Iris aim to enable autonomy

Iris Automation is a safety avionics tech company that first came on the scene with a detect-and-avoid system made for drones, and since expanded the sales scope to include general aviation. While computer vision is envisioned to be an optional safety accessory for traditional aircraft, Iris also continues to eye autonomy, and announced March 18 a partnership with the innovative Brazilian airframer Embraer.

Iris CEO Jon Damush reported in an interview that he a very clear picture of why Iris exists and where it’s going: “Iris exists to make flying safer, period.”

Damush, a commercial pilot and certificated flight instructor, elaborated: “We are building perception technologies, things that have an unpiloted system or piloted system, gain better situational awareness…with better situational awareness, we can make fewer changes.”

Iris’ initial focus was on developing its detect-and-avoid technology for small drones—making them able to detect other traffic in the area and automatically avoid any collision. Casia is the result of that effort, a computer module connected to one or more cameras that identifies objects in the field of view, calculates closing trajectory, and directs a connected flight control system to maneuver as needed. (In the GA version, the system provides advisories.)

“In much the same way a human pilot satisfies FAR 91.113B today, we see and avoid other aircraft,” Damush said. Speaking on the human factor of it all, Damush explained that humans “aren’t always actually the best at this job and we’re kind of the last line of defense…That’s our first step, how can we help be another layer of the last line of defense against a mid-air collision, so that we can take steps toward integrating unpiloted and piloted systems in the same airspace.”

Iris’ perception technology is just one of a number of companies coming together for Embraer’s Project EASy. U.S.-based simulation software engineers Ansys, Swiss autonomous flight control software company Daedalean, and Brazilian driver behavior analysis company are collaborating to develop a number of new autonomous flight technologies in a project that, according to the press release, “uses agile experimentation processes for the development of best-in-class solutions that will enable the autonomous aviation of the future.”

Embraer, a global aerospace company known for building business jets, as well as commercial jets with up to 150 seats, has delivered more than 8,000 aircraft since its founding in 1969. The company has embraced a mission to make aviation more efficient, including development of urban air mobility. 

“We have been working intensely to co-create the aviation of the future in a broader collaboration with key technological partners,” said Maurilio Albanese Novaes Junior, Embraer’s head of research and technology, in the news release “We are glad to now have Near Earth Autonomy, Iris Automation and Daedalean contributing with their unique knowledge and experience in autonomous flight, as well as Ansys with its physics-based sensor simulation and expertise, along with which brings agile and flexible software integration to add value to our development project.”

With this new tech collaboration, Embraer hopes to further its work toward sustainable flight and electric vertical takeoff and landing technology developed by Eve, Embraer’s urban air mobility company.

Write a Reply or Comment:

Back to top