An Israeli company says its new Bonanza-sized drone can mix it up safely with regular civilian air traffic thanks to a triple redundant detect-and-avoid system to keep out of the way. The StarLiner from Elbit Systems is compliant with NATO’s Standardization Agreement known as STANAG 4671, meaning it is approved for missions where airliners and other civilian aircraft fly, according to Yahoo News. The idea is to push the envelope for large-drone operations to allow them to carry out missions in more developed areas. The possibilities are endless, of course, and several countries have already placed orders.
Based on the 2500-pound Hermes 900, the aircraft can fly for 36 hours as high as 30,000 feet powered by a diesel engine. It has “radar cooperative and non-cooperative Detect and Avoid (DAA) features for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)” and is specifically designed to fly in regular airspace. Although it meets the NATO standard, individual countries will have to approve the sorts of operations envisioned by Elbit.