Aviation - Avions NASA-Prototypes
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The unique Proteus aircraft served as a test bed for NASA-sponsored flight tests designed to validate collision-avoidance technologies proposed for uninhabited aircraft. The tests, flown over southern New Mexico in March, 2002, used the Proteus as a surrogate uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) while three other aircraft flew toward the Proteus from various angles on simulated collision courses. Radio-based ''detect, see and avoid'' equipment on the Proteus successfully detected the other aircraft and relayed that information to a remote pilot on the ground at Las Cruces Airport. The pilot then transmitted commands to the Proteus to maneuver it away from the potential collisions. The flight demonstration, sponsored by NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, New Mexico State University, Scaled Composites, the U.S. Navy and Modern Technology Solutions, Inc., were intended to demonstrate that UAVs can be flown safely and compatibly in the same skies as piloted aircraft.