Blue Bear’s Blackstart drone has completed its first ADS-B equipped flights in the National BVLOS Experimental Corridor (NBEC).
The Blackstart drone took off from Blue Bear’s flight test facility and successfully covered a 6km (EVLOS) round trip flight along the NBEC whilst broadcasting its position over ADS-B.
The signal from the small, lightweight ADS-B transponder was picked up by a number of third party ADS-B receivers as part of the test metrics, ensuring that the technology was working efficiently.
As part of the news announcement, Blear Bear described how drones will need to be appropriately conspicuous in order to operate in future BVLOS environments and adding an ADS-B transponder is one method of achieving this electronically whilst employing a recognised worldwide standard.
It continued to detail how it is envisioned that all drones that fly within the NBEC corridor will be equipped with ADS-B devices, as part of the multi layered technology approach employed to ensure safe separation between both cooperative and non-cooperative traffic.
The goal of the NBEC is to provide a safe, managed environment for drone/unmanned aircraft experimentation which will work towards their integration into controlled and uncontrolled airspace.
The partners (Blue Bear, Cranfield, Thales and Vodafone) believe the key to future drone operations is not segregation, but unification ensuring fair and equitable use of airspace for all.