Defining Unmanned Traffic Management with U-Space

AirHub software on laptop

Together with partners AirHub is defining the future of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) and U-Space to enable the safe integration of drones into our airspace and society.

The use of drones is increasing at a rapid pace. Every day more and more companies in many industries such as #agriculture, #energy, #safety and security, #delivery and #telecom integrate drones into their workflow to work safer, better, faster and more efficient.

In 2035 there will be more than 400.000 commercial drones in Europe – SESAR

To keep our society safe we will need a set of new services and procedures specifically designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to the airspace for large numbers of drones. This system is called Unmanned Traffic Management (#UTM), in Europe referred to as U-Space.

E-registration, e-identification and geofencing

The new European regulations for drones require drone operators to register their drones, themselves and/or their company online. This #registry will enable the authorities to enforce the regulations and to prevent drones from entering zones they are not allowed to with enhanced geofencing. The registries of all member states will be interoperable so that operators can easily perform operations abroad.

By registering the drone it will become possible the identify the drone, both on the ground and in the air. The unique registration ID will give information about the country of registration, the aircraft itself and the owner. Because operators can operate in the #open, #specific (including various standard scenarios) and #certified category it will be possible to link information about which zones the operator is allowed to fly in and which type operations the operator allowed to perform to the ID of this operator.

The operator will be able to increase his geo-awareness of the zones he is allowed to operate in and specific restrictions can be applied to the geofencing capabilities of the drone.

Management of drone operations

Just as there are various cell phone carriers today like #KPN and Verizon, there will be multiple providers of UTM services, called UTM Service Providers (#USP). In all European countries these USPs will communicate to a shared environment hosted by a public authority – often referred to as Flight Information Management System (#FIMS) . This environment will enable the connection between the USPs, will connect with traditional Air Traffic Management (ATM) services and will contain data about various airspace zones, etc.

Drone operators will be able to plan their flights through Ground Control Stations (#GCS) and Mission Planners like the AirHub Drone Operations Management System. These applications will have an integration with an USP which will allow the operator to send his flight plan to Air Traffic Control (#ATC) or the manager of the local airspace. In the United States and Switzerland this is currently done through the Low-Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (#LAANC). Initially all flight approvals will be processed manually, however this will be fully automated in the future. Once the operators has received his approval he can take-off and it will be possible to track the flight in real time, both for ATC as all other airspace users.

Combining manned and unmanned aviation

Both hardware – such as Detect and Avoid (#DAA) functionalities – and software – such as Artificial Intelligence (#AI) and Machine Learning (#ML) – for drones are developing at a rapid pace. This will enable drones to fulfill complex tasks and to fly in almost any environment. Within a couple of years package delivery by drones will be very common and within the next decade we will see the first steps in Urban Air Mobility (UAM). UTM and U-Space will include capacity management and assistance for conflict detection to safely integrate large volumes of these drones in the Very Low Level (#VLL) airspace.

To safely fly in these environments operators will need comprehensive data about many aspects of their flights and operations. Hyperlocal and real time weather information and data about ground obstacles for example will be essential to safely plan a flight. Operators with large numbers of drones will also need to manage their fleet and will also want to control and monitor their drones in the air in real time. AirHub is already working on a Command and Control Center to easily facilitate this.

How AirHub can help

At AirHub we have guided Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP), national and local governments with developing their strategy for the implementation of Unmanned Traffic Management. Our consultants have experience in both manned and unmanned aviation and will help you make informed decisions about setting up your registry, defining an architecture for the national FIMS, etc. Together with partners such as AirMap we are even shaping the future of U-Space and fleet management in Europe and will be able to setup your digital infrastructure. Contact us to take advantage of the experience and expertise of our consultants.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *