Why Reliable Robotics is getting into the business of building radars

Seeking a detect-and-avoid solution for uncrewed flight, the company finally decided to make its own.

Log-in here if you’re already a subscriber

Release Date
October 27, 2023
Why Reliable Robotics is getting into the business of building radars
When it comes to developing a certifiable autonomous aircraft, regulatory unknowns are as daunting as any technical challenge. (At least in the West — China may be a different story.) Last year, The Air Current described how three autonomous aircraft startups were pursuing markedly different strategies based on their divergent expectations for what the Federal Aviation Administration would be willing to certify and when.

One of them is California-based Reliable Robotics, which has chosen to start its journey to autonomous flight with an advanced autopilot that supplements rather than replaces a human pilot in the cockpit. Reliable’s autopilot will be certified to a higher level of reliability than conventional automatic flight control systems and will be engaged for all phases of operation including taxi, takeoff and landing. The FAA formally accepted the certification basis for Reliable’s autopilot on the Cessna 208 Caravan in August 2022, and signed off on the certification plan in July. 

Related: Autonomous aircraft startups are plotting an evolution, not a revolution

Even as it progresses with its autopilot project, however, Reliable is actively laying the groundwork for future remotely piloted operations, as CEO Robert Rose discussed in a recent interview with TAC. Notably, the company has now elected to develop its own air-to-air radar for detect-and-avoid (DAA) purposes — a strategic decision that also reflects its conclusions about the near-term regulatory environment, and its prospects as a new industry supplier. Reliable officially revealed its radar program on October 27 with the announcement of a key hire, Marc Pos, who joins the company after more than two decades of radar development at Honeywell.

Subscribe to continue reading...

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.