Analysis challenge to open pathway to industrial drone operations the UK – Drones Information
A groundbreaking new project announced today (July 30) will build and then demonstrate how Open Access UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) functions can support drone operations under 400 feet.
The Connected Places Catapult brings together a national and international consortium to develop a worldwide leading open access UTM framework for drones. The project, which was commissioned by the Department of Transport, will continue to lay the foundations for a safe flight environment for the operation of unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAS) in the UK and enable efficient airspace sharing with manned aircraft and the operation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) of drones.
There is an enormous global opportunity for countries that can successfully conduct commercial drone operations. The sector is believed to be worth £ 127 billion worldwide. UTM is recognized as a key element for the safe and efficient integration of unmanned vehicles into airspace, and Connected Places Catapult is working towards the first goal in collaboration with AiRXOS (part of GE Aviation), Altitude Angel, ANRA Technologies, Collins Aerospace and Wing safe and regulated UTM functions this year.
In this research and development project, important architectural features, communication interfaces and key services are created, which are evaluated by means of simulations before field tests are carried out. The study will build on existing platforms and standards to create a development system to investigate UTM and drone operations, identify next steps in research and facilitate knowledge transfer to government and industry.
Dr. Ajay Modha, Principal Technologist at Connected Places Catapult, said:
“This is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate a UK UTM ecosystem and is an important step in dismantling the technology and operational barriers to UAS operations. An important goal is to demonstrate how this ability can support short-term and future market needs and ambitions. At the beginning of phase 2 of the Future Flight Challenge, one of the main goals of this project is to provide the UAS community, which may be dealing with UTM for the first time, with better insight and actionable data. “
AiRXOS chief technology officer Ted Lester said:
“After AiRXOS has participated in the successful efforts from 2019 to 2020 with Connected Places Catapult to develop a framework for UTM in Great Britain, it is looking forward to demonstrating the safe, efficient and economical integration of UAS airspace with peer UTM service providers to accelerate the beneficial use of UAS in the UK and around the world. “
Richard Ellis, Altitude Angel, Chief Business Officer, said when choosing to participate in the Connected Places Catapult project:
“We are very excited to continue working with CPC to continue validating the Open UTM framework, for which we pioneered in 2019. Live testing will greatly benefit from Altitude Angel’s extensive APIs and experience delivering production services around the world. We believe this will provide a solid foundation for the UK to establish repeatable and scalable drone operations. ”
Amit Ganjoo, CEO and founder of ANRA Technologies UK Pvt Limited, said
“Britain is quickly becoming a world leader in the development of commercial drone technologies. We are honored to have contributed to all of Connected Places Catapult’s Open Access UTM research and development programs, and we look forward to starting live flight tests to achieve a safe, interoperable, and efficient traffic management system. “
Sean Camilleri, Principal Strategic Development Manager at Collins Aerospace, said:
“This groundbreaking program gives us the opportunity to test the most important new standards and theories in UAS traffic management and to test them in collaboration with our colleagues. Successful trials will allow us to take another step closer to unlocking the full social and economic benefits of off-line drone operations in the UK. “
Wing’s CEO James Ryan Burgess said:
“Drones and the services they offer offer the UK significant benefits: they help respond to emergencies, reduce emissions and air pollution, and improve access to food, medicine and other goods. We are excited to join the Catapult project to advance the safe and open use of airspace and look forward to leveraging our global experience to enable a scalable and affordable UTM architecture that reflects the volume and diversity of unmanned aviation supported. “