Honeywell said it signed an agreement with an unnamed air taxi developer to supply its IntuVue RDR-84K Band Radar System for an urban air mobility (UAM) prototype aircraft.

The software-based radar detects multiple obstacles in and around its flight path. Honeywell said the product represents a step toward automating the takeoff and landing of UAM aircraft.

The radar uses software to help collect relevant information for operators. It is an electronically-steered, phased-array radar and has no moving parts. Honeywell said the design reduces the number of sensors, hardware requirements and installations, maintenance, size, weight and power needs, and lowers the initial and total cost of ownership.

The radar uses multiple beams that scan simultaneously and can detect different inputs such as other aircraft, terrain and runways at the same time. It allows an automated vehicle or aircraft to detect multiple inputs simultaneously, including weather, aircraft, people and buildings. Honeywell said its benefits include a much better analysis of everything ahead of the aircraft, an ability to adapt the radar focus on important items ahead and an ability to customize or change the radar's functionality.

By scanning multiple data points at once and only focusing on the most important pieces of information below and in front of the vehicle, the radar helps enhance safety. This leads to safer, more efficient operations and a broad range of capabilities for connected or virtual operators, the company said.

Software passes information from the sensors to UAM operators, enabling UAM aircraft to land with little to no input from the operator. The sensing technology was designed with smaller aircraft in mind, including helicopters, UAM aircraft, unmanned aircraft and autonomous military ground vehicles, the company said.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com