Developing Crash-Avoidance Technology for Aviation

ElectronicsEngineeringProduct Design & Development

Problem Statement

Hanger Rash is a term used in the aviation world for minor collisions that happen when an aircraft comes in accidental contact with a building, structure, or other aircraft. The damage from these mistakes can create big headaches that cost time and money to fix.

A business approached DISHER with an innovative idea to help solve this problem. They needed help designing and developing a safe, effective, multi-device, crash-avoidance technology for the marketplace.

Research and Methodology

DISHER engaged in a requirement-definition phase, where the team researched various radar and sensing technologies, and evaluated suitable performance against a number of different constraints. Using a trade-study methodology, DISHER identified mmWave radar as the appropriate sensing technology, and Bluetooth LR as the best protocol for communication between devices.

Ideate & Design

DISHER’s cross-functional team developed and integrated mmWave radar technologies to sense the edge of a helicopter blade from two yards within a large field of view. Two radars were multiplexed to establish the wide range of view, and five sensors were networked together to provide a full picture of what was occurring around the plane. DISHER seamlessly integrated a charging case, five sensors, a hub, and a display. Collaboration with DISHER’s mechanical, electronics, and industrial design teams produced an attractive, easy-to-assemble, test-and-use system. The design implemented constant and reliable communication to the user creating a positive experience.

Electronics Integration

Build & Verify

DISHER integrated a 32-bit Microchip PIC processor and multiple, multi-core, ARM-processing elements. Data Transfer, timing, EMI/EMC control, and memory architectures were expertly developed and integrated. Exceptional firmware development was evidenced through five system software modules that operate constantly and consistently within performance specifications.

mmWave user interface
mmWave Case for Electronics

Reactions & Final Product

The system performed well at an aerospace tradeshow and created a large degree of interest in both the product and technology. The customer has returned to DISHER to add additional features based on user feedback.

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