The Coast Guard has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for detect and avoid and other technologies for airspace domain awareness to enable beyond visual line of sight operations for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the maritime environment and allowing them to operate at longer ranges.
The RFI was released on Wednesday by the Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center (RDC) and will allow the service to examine the feasibility, costs and benefits of vehicle and ground-based technologies that could also lead to receiving Federal Aviation Administration and military authorizations for flights. The Coast Guard is interested in the technologies for use with Group I and II UAS operations from land and Coast Guard cutters.
Group I UAS typically weigh 20-pounds or less and Group II systems weigh between 21 and 55-pouunds. The Coast Guard currently uses the Boeing [BA] ScanEagle Group II UAS aboard some of its National Security Cutters (NSCs).
“RDC is interested in technologies that hold potential to uncouple UAS from surface-based radar systems for airspace clearance,” a spokeswoman for the Research and Development Center told Defense Daily. “Sense and avoid technologies may hold potential for UAS to effectively clear its own airspace and increase effective range.”
Radar on the NSC are currently used to clear the airspace around the ScanEagle, she said.
The Coast Guard said it will use responses to inform decision makers of emerging detect and avoid, and airspace domain awareness to improve operational UAS capabilities.