Automotive sensor technology for airspace monitoring

Completion of the Odessa funding program.

Logo Odessa Project

Logo Odessa Project

Donnersdorf, 23/02/2021. The EU-funded project with the referred to in short as ‘Odessa’ was successfully completed in November 2020.

The term ‘Odessa’ stands for ‘Obstacle DEtection Sensor for Surveillance on Aircraft’, which describes the project’s aim: to develop a new environment-monitoring system to increase safety in air traffic. To this end, the project partners have harnessed tried and tested technologies from the field of automotive sensors and adapted them to applications in airspace monitoring.

The collaboration between the five institutions and companies involved was kicked off in October 2018. After two years of development, the network partners proudly presented the innovative sensor solution, which meets the steep requirements of air traffic.


Benefit from automotive-sector technology

The automotive industry has been investing in the development of innovative and reliable sensor technology for many years. These sensors help optimise the driving experience and drivers’ safety. Thanks to the intensive development work, a large number of driver assistance systems, particularly for collision protection, have become established and are available at market prices.

While the useful safety systems have successfully taken hold in the automotive sector, manufacturers of aircraft have been searching in vain for comparable products. The previous modules for aircraft are too big, expensive, heavy, and complex. And collisions are the main cause of accidents in aviation not only in the air but also near the ground or during manoeuvres on the ground.

In order to reduce the risk of collisions, aeroplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft, whether manned or remotely controlled, are to be equipped with modern detection systems as standard. The goal of the Odessa project is to develop an innovative, easy-to-integrate, and cost-effective sensor solution that also meets the challenging regulations and requirements of aviation for this purpose.


International cooperation

This challenge was jointly tackled by the LEAT research unit (a joint venture between the French National Centre for Scientific Research [CNRS] and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis), the German radar technology company InnoSenT, and the Italian technology company Siralab Robotics under the project management of the Italian company Interconsulting S. r. l.

One of the challenges was to generate a system that could be used in diverse ways. It must be equipped such that it can be integrated into the various aircraft, the different manoeuvres (for example, take-off, landing, and taxi phases), and the individual infrastructures on site. Other requirements included a long range, reliable detection of the environment around the aircraft, low power consumption, and the simultaneous detection of multiple objects.

The InnoSenT radar experts contributed their years of expertise gained in the field of developing automotive radar and combining camera and sensor technology. The system resulting from this research project brings together advanced radar with camera technology. It successfully met all the criteria and now ready to be put to practical use.


The Odessa project is part of the Horizon 2020 framework programme, one of the European Commission’s biggest funding initiatives for research and innovation. The EU funded 70 % of the total project volume of over 1.07 million euros. A publication of the final paper and the public presentation of the research results are planned during the Aerospace Tech Week in Toulouse, France in May 2021. Another scientific publication on the radar sensor antenna design, which the Senior Radar Developer at InnoSenT, Thilo Lenhard was involved in producing, was released in September 2020 during the IEEE Radar Conference in Florence, Italy.


Further information on the project partners, the system’s technical features, and a video contribution on the Odessa funding project can be found at



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About InnoSenT

InnoSenT GmbH from Donnersdorf was founded in 1999 and is one of the world's leading companies in the field of radar technology. As a manufacturer and developer, the company supplies the full bandwidth of engineering services - from customer-specific development to series production. Thanks to the strong focus on quality and innovation, InnoSenT GmbH has been following a course to global success for many years.