Jersey to provide sandbox for unmanned flights in GBP3.7 million connectivity programme

The UK channel island of Jersey has been chosen as the test-bed for a GBP3.7 million project to test aircraft guidance technology and ultimately enable autonomous unmanned aircraft to improve supply chain connectivity, according to a report by Channel Eye Media.

The project will use Jersey’s connectivity, which includes three separate 4G networks and multiple dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) networks. Volant Autonomy, a UK technology start-up, is leading a nine-partner consortium that includes Ports of Jersey and the consortium is working with Digital Jersey to access local knowledge and connections to on-island stakeholders, says Channel Eye Media.

Volant has developed three key products using their Deterministic Agile Risk Intelligence (DARI) technology, which enables safer flight through risk aware flight planning and increased pilot situational awareness, and mitigates against airborne collisions. The technology can be used to enhance safety for manned and unmanned aircraft. Volant are developing the flight guidance technology for use cases such as unmanned logistics aircraft, which could see autonomous drones being used at low altitudes to transport items.

Digital Jersey CEO Tony Moretta said: “It’s a great example of the attractiveness of the Sandbox Jersey offering that we have been chosen as the test bed for this exciting technology. The infrastructure we offer and the ease with which we can connect Volant to the facilities, regulators, and services it needs, makes us the ideal location. As an island, we can also benefit tremendously as end users. The project will see drone flight trials that will demonstrate the opportunities for us to use sustainable autonomous drone aircraft to help transport medical supplies, commercial cargo, and perhaps ultimately passengers at some point in the future.”

(Image: Channel Eye Media)

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