Turkish delight for drone traffic system

A drone traffic management technology platform has been successfully tested in several test flights that took place near the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The Pop-Up UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) system was developed by Altitude Angel in the UK in partnership with satellite communications giant Inmarsat and A-TechSYN, an Irish drone company based in County Clare.

During the October and November 2020 tests, an A-TechSYN CGT50 VTOL drone performed a series of autonomous BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flights, which were initiated and monitored by a pilot 60 km from the area take-off and landing.

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The flights were tracked using Inmarsat’s L-band satellite network, which communicated with a Cobham Aviator 200 satcom solution on board the drone. Using the UTM platform, Altitude Angel was able to track, monitor and manage the drone from its headquarters in Reading. At some point on the runway, the system detected a possible conflict with a commercial aircraft, which resulted in the Pop-Up UTM correctly triggering a warning to “disassociate” the two aircraft and avoid a collision.

“Our partnership with Inmarsat in the development of Pop-Up UTM has, in just under six months, crafted a platform that has the power to save lives and revolutionize the way operators deploy UAV services,” said Phil Binks, head of Altitude Angel. Air traffic management.

“As an example, emergency services and first responders could use drones alongside manned aircraft in the most challenging scenarios. Test flights not only established how Pop-Up UTM could be deployed quickly, but the unexpected arrival of a GA (general aviation) aircraft and its triggering of the deconfliction software demonstrated how the platform will perform in a real environment.”

As UAVs become more and more ubiquitous in the skies, drone traffic management will only grow in importance. According to Gokhan Celik, Managing Director of A-techSYN, this new platform is a step towards full integration of unmanned traffic into existing aviation systems, replicating communication protocols already used for general aviation.

“Drones weighing over 50kg…are fast becoming the gold standard for unmanned operations, including search and rescue, pipeline/powerline inspections and long-range medical delivery,” he said. -he declares.

“Drones can now evolve from passive broadcast to active communication with UTM in real time, mirroring the processes of manned aviation.”

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