SkySensus, Unifly partners selected as one of two teams providing service trials for Canadian UTM programme

Partners SkySensus and Unifly announced their selection as one of two teams to provide service trials for Canada’s Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) Traffic Management (RTM) initiative – a joint programme run by Transport Canada and Nav Canada. An AirMarket-led team announced its selection last week.

The SkySensus team includes Aerium Analytics, Canadian UAVs, UsX Consulting, Foremost UAS Test Range and Unifly.

SkySensus is an R&D project that is funded and led by Peraton Canada for the research and development, and commercialization of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) in unmanned systems. The RTM service trials were granted to SkySensus, in partnership with Unifly, a global Unmanned Air Traffic Management (UTM) solutions provider, to demonstrate their combined expertise in developing the requirements, performance levels  and deployment of services needed for Canada’s RPAS traffic management system.

The RTM selection committee, a joint government and industry group co-led by Transport Canada and Nav Canada, was established to create a roadmap for the development of RTM services in Canada. The goal is to develop an ecosystem of RTM services that can safely manage the integration of remotely piloted aircraft into Canadian airspace.

With features like RPAS tracking, remote identification, detect-and-avoid, and conflict resolution, these new technologies and RTM services will be introduced and rolled-out into use. The aim of the rollout is to facilitate the full integration of UAVs into a coordinated air traffic management system, and further the development of regulations for BVLOS operations.

RTM technology and services will be an enabler to the entire RPAS industry. The services being trialed will serve to aid in creation of a National RTM framework and assist industry and the regulators to advance the maturity of the entire industry.

“The advancement of RTM intelligence is a key component of our development of BVLOS regulations to support the RPAS industry in Canada.  The SkySensus team is well positioned to provide us with realistic RTM data and insights from their ongoing integrated BVLOS trials”. says Ryan Johnson of Transport Canada and Alan Chapman of NAV CANADA, co-sponsors of the RTM trials.

Conducting several simultaneous RPAS flights, SkySensus successfully completed Phase I of the RTM trials at the Foremost UAS Test Range in southern Alberta on October 19th.  The initial trial demonstrated the RTM services deconfliction, and collected data from multiple BVLOS and manned aircraft operations. Phase II of the RTM trials is planned for early spring of 2021.

The implementation of RTM in Canada is an important step in regulating the safe use of RPAS in Canadian airspace.  Transport Canada and NAV Canada’s implementation will focus on understanding the performance levels required of RTM services over the next year. There are close to 30 different services that are necessary to enable an RTM system, across the increasing complexity of airspace from rural to airport to urban. The main priority remains safety, and the technological innovation and industry expertise gained through the trials will assist with their implementation moving forward.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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