Tests of Honeywell’s radar system concluded that the radar can autonomously detect airborne traffic, evaluate that traffic’s flight path, and use that data to calculate a collision avoidance course.
Multiple tests of increasing difficulty were performed, including evaluations of the radar’s field of view and high-angular detection capabilities, as well as tests requiring the system to execute more aggressive maneuvers. “The radar handled everything we threw at it,” said Larry Surace, Honeywell Aerospace lead systems engineer for the RDR-84K. “It saw the danger immediately and successfully executed multiple avoidance maneuvers.”
Honeywell posted video of the tests online. The system is small, about the size of a paperback book. Its face measures 8 inches wide by 4 inches high and about 1 inch deep. It weighs in at less than two pounds.
Honeywell reported that the system can detect targets 3 kilometers away using “monopulse technology—a system of overlapping beams—to increase accuracy and eliminate ground clutter,” and that the RDR-84K is also capable of mapping terrain and providing navigation, and can act as a radar altimeter during landing.
The RDR-84K is part of Honeywell’s Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight suite of technologies, which, “along with the UAV satellite communications transmitter, hydrogen fuel cells, and inertial navigation systems,” Honeywell says, enables small drones to fly “three times longer and with less human intervention.”