Unmanned traffic management (UTM) provider Altitude Angel is working on an open-access UTM framework for the UK’s drone users.
UTM systems are designed to enable the integration of drones into national airspace.
The project is in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Connected Places Catapult (CPC).
The partners will design, build and test the UK’s open-access UTM framework for drone operations.
Funded by the DfT, the nine-month CPC-led project is the second phase in the development of the UK’s open-access UTM framework which Altitude Angel helped pioneer with CPC in 2019.
The project aims to develop, build and test several key features of the framework, and will include the development of communications interfaces and protocols necessary for a range of services to be created, followed by testing and simulations leading to field-trials.
The deployment of a safe and reliable UTM platform will permit the UK Government and businesses to realise the full potential of drones, Altitude Angel said, allowing for routine beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights.
As part of the project, Altitude Angel will demonstrate its proven GuardianUTM platform to provide awareness for drones and drone pilots of permanent and dynamic airspace restrictions, awareness of other airspace users, conflict detection and resolution between drones and other aircraft, as well as managing requests for permission to enter or transit through controlled airspace.
On being chosen to take part in the Connected Places Catapult project, Richard Ellis, Altitude Angel chief business officer, said: “We are very much looking forward to be resuming our work with CPC to continue validation of the UTM framework we pioneered with them in 2019.
“The live trials will benefit significantly from Altitude Angel’s existing extensive APIs and experience of providing production services across the world. We believe this will form a solid foundation for the UK to establish repeatable and scalable drone operations.”