UTM in Singapore: working prototype

The commercial drone industry and BVLOS drone supply took a huge step forward last week when officials demonstrated the first working UTM prototype in Singapore. US company OneSky joined global technology company Nova Systems to deliver advanced unmanned traffic management capabilities in Singapore’s unique urban environment.

“This ends a two-year consortium project led by Nova and co-founded by the Ministry of Transport as part of the UAS call for proposals (CFP).”VERSUS“) And Singapore Civil Aviation Authority (“CAAS”). This is a significant milestone in Singapore’s journey into a future that will be determined by UAS technology as private and government sector stakeholders investigate the possibility of large-scale, integrated deployments of this technology in Singapore’s unique urban environment, ”said it in a press release from the consortium.

“At the end of the tests, a UTM demonstration for CAAS took place on March 10, 2021. Using a mixture of live flights and simulations, the demonstration showed the most important developments and findings from the team’s work in the field of UTM technologies in the last two years, in particular the handling of the mass use of drones that fly beyond the line of sight (“BVLOS ”). ”

In a OneSky blog post, Daniel Honaker, Head of International Implementation at OneSky, explained why this demonstration of UTM functionality is different from other demonstrations around the world: Partly because Singapore is a truly unique place.

“We first examined the infrastructure in Singapore and understood the airspace challenges of implementing UTM in this environment,” said Daniel Honaker, Head of International Implementation at OneSky. “This included looking closely at issues such as LTE signal strength at altitude and GNSS performance in urban canyons. We modeled the systems involved and simulated their behavior and then tested and validated our assumptions in two live experiments. “

OneSky adapted its platform to the complex environment and added the data sets that pilots need in this airspace to the interface. “Our first step was to change and add records relevant to Singapore’s low-level airspace,” explained Daniel. “This included terrain data and building data for the spatial base layers, airspace borders and restricted areas provided by CAAS, as well as live airspace data, including weather services and ship tracking data (AIS).”

This UTM demonstration in Singapore also went further than many previous attempts. OneSky was able to test advanced UTM operations and services, including not only identifying potential conflicts, but strategic deconflicts as well. dynamic redirection; and compliance monitoring.

“Some of these concepts have been discussed but not demonstrated at this point,” said Daniel. “Here we were able to drive forward really innovative solutions for Singapore.”

Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.

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