> our title:

Swiss Prepare to Test UAV Sensors

> original title:

New Technology Platform on the Emmen Airbase

(Source: armasuisse Swiss Defence Procurement Agency; issued Dec. 4, 2012)

(Unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

In response to a mandate from the General Staff, armasuisse will test, using a new technology platform, sensors can be used in future UAV systems. In a first phase, these activities will focus on "Sense and Avoid" procedures for unmanned aircraft.

The Centaur OPA (Optionally-Piloted Aircraft) technology platform consists of a twin-engine Diamond Aircraft DA-42 aircraft, which was converted by Aurora Flight Science, Manassas (USA). In late November 2012, armasuisse was able to take delivery of the aircraft at Emmen airbase.

The OPA can be operated in three operating modes: with on-board pilot, and in hybrid and unmanned modes.

In the hybrid operating mode, the aircraft is remotely piloted by a crew from a ground control station, but a “safety” pilot on board the aircraft can take control if necessary.

This operating mode offers the best conditions for testing, validation and certification of new in "Sense and Avoid" avionics that allow automatic detection and avoidance of other aircraft.

The first "Sense and Avoid" tests are due to take place during the first half of 2013.