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Frequentis, the leading provider of air traffic management (ATM) communication, automation and information solutions, and Altitude Angel, the pioneering drone management platform and airspace integration start-up, have entered into a strategic partnership to provide solutions that will allow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to more safely co-exist in the shared airspace.
The ability for drone technologies to support essential tasks such as emergency health services and organ transport, policing and traffic patrols, highlights the need for them as an important user of airspace. However, this increases the pressure to safely manage it.
“The underlying mission of the industry remains the same — to fly safely and legally in assigned airspace,” said Hannu Juurakko, vice president ATM at Frequentis. “Finding a way for drones and manned aircraft to safely coexist is crucial. We understand that building a harmonized framework for ATM and unmanned traffic management (UTM) is the safest way forward.
“Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM platform coupled with Frequentis’ mature, safety-critical infrastructure components and state-of-the art technology will ensure their safe integration into the airspace. Our focus is to enable new business models for our ANSP customers and enable organisations to leverage the potential of these autonomous technologies.”
Frequentis delivers a highly reliable, modular, end-to-end framework suite to connect UTM and ATM systems around the world. All Frequentis ATM products are ‘drone ready,’ and can integrate the information and communication needs with unmanned traffic.
Altitude Angel’s geospatial database covers more than 80 countries and is a key component of its autonomous drone navigation system. This allows any drone to tap into its situational awareness database, helping them go beyond the line of sight of the operator. Altitude Angel’s long-term goal is to use its platform to enable millions of autonomous drones to fly, safely, without any human pilots.
“Drones have the power to revolutionize business and transform lives,” said Altitude Angel founder and CEO, Richard Parker, also a board member of the Global UTM Association. “Our GuardianUTM platform provides the most accurate and up-to-date information for drone pilots, and multiple, reliable integration pathways to existing ATM systems and networks built on top of a common interface framework. With Frequentis’ expertise, we can move forward in our goals for a harmonized airspace, bringing the ATM and UTM communities together for a more integrated airspace.”
The companies are both involved in many drone research efforts and projects, with the focus on safely integrating them into the airspace. In October 2016, Frequentis contributed to the NASA UTM trials at Reno Stead Airport.
Altitude Angel was also selected by NATS to provide a drone safety app and UTM solution. Both companies are actively involved in SESAR-driven research, and are members of relevant international and regional working groups, such as at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Global UTM Association (GUTMA), or the standardization organization EUROCAE.
Altitude Angel and Frequentis will be carrying out a demonstration of their solution at World ATM Congress in Madrid, March 6 to 9, booth 526.