Monocular Passive Ranging

Maneuverless Monocular Passive Ranging System (M2PARS)

M2PARS is the first practical technology to estimate the range from an unmanned aircraft to other air traffic using only a monocular camera without requiring self maneuvering. This technology fulfills the critical need for a passive-only Sense and Avoid (SAA) solution for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to operate safely in shared airspace. M2PARS is ideal for UAS that cannot carry heavy payloads such as radar systems due to size, weight and power (SWAP) constraints.

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Technology description

  • No prior knowledge about the airborne object to be tracked is assumed
  • Analytical correctness of the approach has been rigorously established
  • M2PARS has been validated using extensive Monte Carlo simulations and hardware-in-the-loop simulations with real sensor interfaces and recorded flight test data
  • Multiple image features are fused in a non-linear filtering framework
  • Accurate range estimates (< 10% error) are obtained even for small intruders at distances of few nautical miles
  • Current implementation of M2PARS runs off a PC104 single board computer and can simultaneously track up to 10 intruders at 20Hz input frame rate
  • M2PARS is also effective in filtering out false tracks due to small cloud specks and ground objects
  • Small size, weight and power footprint