Blue Bear has announced the launch of its 5G enabled BVLOS flight test facilities in Bedfordshire.
The company has established the first 5G enabled air corridor for drone testing in the UK at the National BVLOS Experimental Centre (NBEC).
The NBEC 16Km air corridor connects Blue Bear’s Twinwoods Flight Test Centre and Cranfield University’s Airport and allows drones and manned aircraft to share the same airspace.
Funded by the government department for digital, culture, media and sports which has allocated over £200m to develop 5G test-beds.
David Walters, operations manager at Blue Bear, said: “We are flying drones in agricultural regions of Cumbria to monitor the health of livestock and to survey crops and investigating how 5G can help transport large volumes of ‘Big Data’ to anywhere in the world.
“In the future farmers will be able to remotely task the drones to carry out routine tasks and analyse results from the breakfast table”.
Blue Bear is part of the 5G Rural Integration Test-bed consortia which is trialling innovative use of 5G technology in a range of applications to connect rural communities.
Blue Bear executed the first BVLOS flights from the NBEC in December 2018.
The company will continue to instrument and gain flight hours along the air corridor throughout early 2019 with support from the NBEC Consortia and the UK CAA.
Different types of 5G technology are being used to track and identify drones along the corridor, as part of a multi-technology solution for the provision of a Recognised Air Picture from Blue Bear facilities.
Ian William-Wynn, managing director at Blue Bear, said: “Blue Bear first flew their drones BVLOS in 2009.
“We opened NBEC to allow other drone operators and equipment suppliers to fly and test their next-generation technology in managed environments and scenarios representative of real operations. This facility will accelerate the uptake of UK’s latent drone technology and infrastructure in global markets.”
Blue Bear specialises in unmanned air, land and maritime systems. The company designs, builds and tests bespoke drones of different types for military and civil sectors.