Industry experts have predicted that UAS Traffic Management (UTM) systems will overtake air traffic management (ATMs) within the market.
UTMs, which primarily monitor small UAVs in lower airspace, connect to different data providers to accumulate real-time information of weather, airspace traffic, drone registration and credentials of drone operators, among others and the basic key functionalities are inspired from current manned aviation traffic management system.
Despite UTMs’ issues, which include security and safety, privacy and vulnerability to cyber-attack, they present business opportunities to replace ATM systems in the future.
Some of the key companies in the UAS traffic management system market, including, Altitude Angel, Unifly, DJI Innovation, Kittyhawk, PrecisionHawk and SenseFly, are expected to make the UAS traffic management system market lucrative for different stakeholders involved in the UTM ecosystem.
At present, companies do offer solutions but fully developed UTM systems are still not commercially available.
Current predictions estimate that the UTM system market will reach $3.62 billion (£2.56 billion) by 2026 due to because of constant developments by both the public and private sector stakeholders.
Prominent stakeholders include UAS Service Supplier, Commercial Drone Operator, Communication System Provider, Data Service Provider, Law Enforcement, and Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP).
UAS Service Supplier (USS) is anticipated to be one of the core stakeholders in the UAS traffic management system market, and the USS will handle all the core functionality area in the overall market spectrum.
HERE Technologies, a digital mapping and location services specialist, and Unifly, a provider of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) software, hope their drone airspace maps will provide a solution to congestion concerns.
The Unifly UTM platform connects relevant local and aviation authorities with drone pilots to safely integrate drones into the airspace. HERE, meanwhile, is developing the Reality Index, a rich real-time digital representation of the physical world. Based on the companies’ commercial agreement, Unifly will integrate HERE map and location data from the Reality Index into its applications to provide a more and more robust picture of the low-altitude airspace.
Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly, said: “New mapping technologies will make it easier to tell a drone and its operator where they can viably, safely and legally fly. This is needed if, one day, drones are to be flown remotely out of the view of their operators. And it will be even more essential as autonomously-flying drones become more prevalent. By greatly boosting the situational awareness of drone traffic, we act as a catalyser for developing new and exciting applications of drone technology.”
Image credit: Unifly