Altitude Angel begins rolling out low altitude surveillance network at sites in the UK

Unified Traffic Management (UTM) company Altitude Angel has begun deployment of a commercial, aviation-grade sensor network designed to optimise wide-area low-altitude drone and aircraft detection in the UK, says the company press release.  

Incorporating purpose-built ADS-B and Mode S receivers, as well as SDR (Software Defined Radio) capabilities, the network is capable of detecting existing and future ‘Remote ID’ broadcasts from transmitters on drones, as well as collecting transmission information from the common control systems used to pilot them. This means the sensor network will detect drones which are intentionally electronically broadcasting their location, as well as many which are not.  And due to the detection technologies used by Altitude Angel, low-flying crewed aviation can be detected and located using other passive sensors even when they are not broadcasting any signal.

This additional data received by the sensor network is ‘fused’ with Altitude Angel’s already extensive air-surveillance picture (taken from primary sources – such as the sensor arrays deployed on its ARROW towers and trusted secondary providers), to create a high-resolution, near real-time digital map of the low-altitude airspace. 

The new network has been extensively tested across four sites, but is being rolled out to a further 30 sites across the Midlands and Southeast of England. Altitude Angel is also announcing a programme to enable authorities to soon extend coverage where required, in turn, giving them access to the overall surveillance picture. 

“In building this network we’re building the most comprehensive, real-time picture of whatever is moving through the country’s low-altitude airspace,” said Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, CEO and founder. “Coupled with our ARROW technology, the sensor network is a key component in the enablement of the digitisation of low-altitude airspace, leading toward greater visibility of air traffic, and enabling automated BVLOS drone operations anywhere in the UK at scale, while providing operators of uncrewed aircraft the security they need to operate safely in unsegregated airspace.”  

Approved third parties may apply for access to the surveillance data stream through Altitude Angel’s Developer Platform. 

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