The MIDCAS (Mid Air Collision Avoidance System) consortium together with the European Defence Agency (EDA) announced the final results of theMIDCAS project at the final stakeholder workshop in Brussels. Major milestones included flight tests with fully automatic avoidance manoeuvres of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) represent an important part of future aviation. RPAS operations are expected to benefit European citizens in the fields of security, disaster relief and many other activities. It is therefore important that RPAS can fly in non-segregated airspace together with today's manned aviation. MIDCAS as the European Detect and Avoid project is a cornerstone to prepare a safe integration of RPAS in non-segregated airspace.
The sixth and final MIDCAS Workshop in Brussels
Since 2010, five MIDCAS stakeholder workshops have been organised providing opportunity for valuable discussions and exchange of information with stakeholders about the project results and findings. The final workshop, which took place 8 and 9 September, provided a summary of the project, final results and conclusions regarding operational and technical recommendations. ”About a hundred committed and engaged stakeholders from around the world took part in the workshop. This manifests the will and necessity of working together to bring Detect and Avoid to a conclusion” says Johan Pellebergs, MIDCAS project leader.
Flight tests and simulations
Flights with a demonstrator Detect & Avoid (D&A) system integrated in the Sky-Y RPAS test bed have been successful. Fully automatic coupled avoidance manoeuvres were performed by the RPAS based on combined cooperative and non-cooperative detection as well as non-cooperative detection only against manned aircraft on collision course. Flight tests have covered numerous scenarios and sensor combinations bringing RPAS traffic integration a significant step closer to reality. The Detect and Avoid system tested, performs collision avoidance and traffic avoidance using data fusion for various combinations of the included detection technologies.
Several types of simulations including Monte Carlo simulations, real-time simulations and Air Traffic Control operational simulations have also been performed to validate the system and operational requirements successfully.
MIDCAS is the European Detect & Avoid Project
The MIDCAS project was launched in 2009 by five contributing Member States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain under the lead of Sweden) under the framework of the European Defence Agency, with a total budget of €50 million. “EDA together with its participating Member States are committed to the operation of RPAS in European airspace coordinated with all other military and civilian traffic. MIDCAS has taken a key step forward to prepare the next generation of high performance European RPAS”, Peter Round, EDA Capability, Armament & Technology Director, says.
MIDCAS has been carried out by an industrial consortium composed of eleven partners: Saab (project leader) from Sweden, Sagem and Thales from France, Airbus D&S, Diehl BGT Defence, DLR and ESG from Germany, Alenia Aermacchi, Selex ES, CIRA from Italy and Indra from Spain. Throughout the project, external stakeholders such as EASA, EUROCONTROL, EUROCAE and JARUS, were involved in the process.