Altitude Angel announced the general availability of its UTM platform via popular satellite constellations.
The company said the move brings critical airspace situation awareness and conflict resolution to remote areas and those affected by natural disasters anywhere on the planet, at any time.
It explained that UTM services are typically dependent on the appropriate ground-based communications network infrastructure, such as cell towers, in order to send and receive instructions and tracking information from drones.
In the event of a natural disaster, such as a flooding, wildfire, tsunami, earthquake or volcanic eruption, safe operation of multiple drone flights is compromised as this ground infrastructure isn’t resilient, or in the case of remote areas, not available.
However, Altitude Angel says that the combination of its UTM technology platform, which now includes the world’s first tactical Conflict Resolution Service available via a UTM platform at scale, when used in conjunction with partner satellite networks, will allow any lead organisation or agency to deploy an instant UTM platform for the safe operation of drones in even the most challenging of environments.
It will also provide the essential coordination of aerial unmanned and, if necessary, manned aviation assets.
Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, CEO and founder, commented: “The opportunities for the instant space-based UTM service are wide-reaching and numerous, but this system will be invaluable to aid organisations and those co-ordinating the emergency services, and relieve operations following something like a natural disaster where first-responders are more often turning to unmanned aircraft to assist.”
Adding: “We are proud to make our UTM services available for free to all first responders in times of need.”
Phil Binks, Altitude Angel’s head of ATM, continued: “The platform we’re offering to first responders will bring clarity to what previously could be a confusing air picture. As we have seen recently with both the flooding across the UK and wildfires in the United States and Australia, unidentified UAVs spotted in affected areas have caused the emergency services to ground rescue helicopters and airtankers, costing valuable time, whilst the operator is identified.
“However, many of these sightings are subsequently found to be of drones being operated by the emergency services. What we’re seeing here are different agencies with different primary objectives. Whereas one group may be focusing on putting a fire out, another may be looking for fires starting.
Concluding: “This system will allow ‘blue light’ flights to continue in tandem with UAV operations, safely and securely.”