Jan 2020 | No Comment

White Paper promotes European GNSS for safe, reliable UAVs

The European GNSS Agency has published an online White Paper on European Global Navigation Satellite Systems, asserting that use of Galileo and its corrections via the European Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) are essential for the safe and reliable navigation of drones.

The report further states that GNSS receivers are implemented on almost all new commercial drones as standard. Market statistics cited in the report predict that European drone service revenues will nearly double from EUR 32 million in 2018 to approximately EUR 60 million by 2020, eventually rising to EUR 150 million by 2023.

With increasing demand for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, GNSS with augmentations is the most obvious choice of technology for navigation — although not the only one, according to the authors. Galileo-enabled receivers are borne by more than 30% of the receivers used for drone applications, while many also implement EGNOS corrections to increase accuracy.

NASA starts using FLARM for drone UTM

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center has started using FLARM traffic awareness and collision avoidance technology in its Pathfinder drone unmanned traffic management (UTM) project. Its goal is to take separate UTM projects and combine them into a single autonomous concept to enable vehicles to fly and communicate with other autonomous vehicles in the airspace. “Pathfinder was conceived as a way to perform a graduation exercise for a lot of the UTM projects we developed over the years,” said Lou Glaab, assistant branch head for the Aeronautic Systems Engineering Branch in Langley’s Engineering Directorate and Pathfinder project manager. Part of that graduation exercise is the Independent Configurable Architecture for Reliable Operations of Unmanned Systems (ICAROUS).

SkyWatch to build advanced autonomous space systems

SkyWatch has announced that the company was selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to complete Phase I of the Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics for Advanced Autonomous Space Systems challenge in July 2019. During this phase of the project, it will work closely with the CSA to develop and deliver a system concept that aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility and commercial potential of applying artificial intelligence and big data analytics to the data from multiple space missions collected by the CSA.

The purpose of the Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics for Advanced Autonomous Space Systems challenge is to apply artificial intelligence and big data analytics to bring tangible advancements in the operation and utilization of space assets in support of government operations, public safety, public health and discovery.

Autonomous drone tech in Madrid warehouse

IAG Cargo has announced that it has successfully trialled autonomous drone technology within its warehouse facility in Madrid. Designed around the automation of freight checks, the technology will help improve efficiency and reliability of its operations.

Conducted using technology developed by drone software start-up FlytBase, the trials come after IAG Cargo found it was spending an average of 6,500 hours each year recording the barcodes and location data of freight across their individual warehouses. Due to the drones’ use of the 3D space, degree of autonomy, and continuous advancement in intelligent automation software, IAG Cargo identified a viable solution to increase accuracy within the warehouse.

Lockheed Martin and Canadian UAVs to improve unmanned BVLOS operations

The ability to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) significantly improves their effectiveness and potential. The increased range of BVLOS operations requires real-time airspace situational awareness for the UAV pilot and support crew to ensure safe, repeatable operations.

Canadian UAVs and Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide an unmanned traffic management solution to meet this challenge. This solution will build a complete airspace picture necessary to conduct unmanned operations beyond visual line of sight in Canada and beyond.

Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems will provide integration support for the vehicle control station software called VCSi, a universal Ground Control System based on more than 1.5 million flight hours in military and commercial flight operations. Canadian UAVs will integrate their lowcost, ground-based radar, Sparrowhawk, into VCSi to provide users with a complete airspace picture of manned and unmanned aviation tracking with collision avoidance.

Drone-based aerial intelligence platform for mine planning

Kespry announces that Midsouth Aggregates, part of North America’s largest aggregate materials producer CRH, is using the Kespry drone-based aerial intelligence platform for inventory management and mine planning.

With granite and limestone reserves located throughout Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, Midsouth Aggregates produces a variety of aggregate products destined for the concrete, asphalt, block, and precast industries, as well as base course material, fill products and general construction aggregates. The company also supplies concrete and asphalt sand, general construction sand and gravel.

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