The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has announced that the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS) team has been named the recipient of the 2018 Robert J. Collier Trophy for “successfully completing a rapid design, integration, and flight test of critical, lifesaving technology for the worldwide F-35 fleet.” Auto GCAS was developed by Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Air Force, the F-35 Joint Program Office, NASA and the Defense Safety Oversight Council. According to Lockheed Martin, the Auto GCAS system uses a set of complex collision avoidance and autonomous decision-making algorithms to determine if a ground collision is imminent. As shown in the video below, if an imminent collision is detected, the system will roll the aircraft wings-level and pull up with no pilot input.
In addition to Auto GCAS, this year’s Collier nominees were the Bell V-280 Valor, Boeing T-X, Draken International Contracted Close Air Support & Adversary Air Services in Support of Combat Readiness Training, Embraer E190-E2, F-35 Integrated Test Force, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Integration of Large UAS into Civil and International Airspace, NASA/JPL Mars Cube One (MarCO) Project Team, Perlan Project, Responsive Environmental Assessment Commercially Hosted (REACH) Project and Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two Program. As previously reported by AVweb, last year’s winner was the Cirrus Aircraft Vision Jet.
The Robert J. Collier Trophy is awarded annually by the NAA “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.” It will be officially presented to the Auto GCAS team at the Annual Robert J. Collier Trophy Dinner in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2019.