Sunhillo tracks UASs without radar

12 October 2018
Sunhillo exhibited its UAS-Connector at ATCA 2018. Source: J Beechener

Sunhillo exhibited its proprietary solution for tracking unmanned aerial systems (UASs) of all sizes, without the use of radar or automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B), at the ATCA exhibition in early October.

The UAS-Connector (UAS-C) connects to the UAS ground control system and converts the positional data from the UAS into a radar or an ADS-B message. This message can then be sent to air traffic control (ATC) or a local command centre, and is displayed with other radar and ADS-B targets for situational awareness.

Data distribution and conversion products from Sunhillo are already used worldwide, providing a range of high-capacity formatting and protocol conversion solutions for flight and surveillance data. The UAS-C is based on the company’s RICI platform combined with its SureLine software to convert UAS position data into common surveillance message formats that can be delivered seamlessly to ATC. Data can be distributed to any display or tablet device. Sunhillo has supplied the technology under NASA task orders to the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) UAS test site (one of several sites designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test integration of UAS into manned airspace).

In a recent development, UAS-C can also connect to the voice communication system to support radio messages between the controller and the UAS operator, and Sunhillo has partnered with Frequentis to create a joint solution. “UAS-C maps the location to the voice frequency so the controller can establish a two-way voice connection with the UAS operator,” Sunhillo senior vice-president Bob Walczak told Jane’s .

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