Illinois Patent of the Month – December 2022

Air taxis make short flights on demand. While some recent developments are showing the promise of electric air taxis, these have largely remained limited by shorter battery capacities. Still, these electric air taxiscan cover a distance of about 250 km. Regardless of distance, preventing air taxis from crossing paths will quickly become an essential capability. Airspeed Systems, LLC has designed and patented an autonomous air taxi separation system for exactly this purpose.

Their system creates a reliable and safe separation strategy for urban air taxis. Each taxi would be equipped with the automated system which detects incursions and manages unsafe proximities. The system uses air taxi data including longitudinal, lateral, and vertical parameters. A penetration radius is then considered for each taxi and if one is at risk of penetrating another, an alert is sounded. Suggested adjustments are made to bring the air taxis back into a safe proximity.

Airspeed Systems are working with regulations and detection techniques different from those seen in conventional Detection and Avoidance (DAA) strategies which focus on close proximity collision avoidance. Instead, the air taxi system focuses on a broader radius and must consider the trajectory of multiple air taxis, rather than just two at a time.

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