Hionos provides drone-based flight tracking unit in SESAR PODIUM flight tests

Hionos’ SignalPack will be embedded in drones used for the PODIUM UTM research project, enabling drone tracking in Bretigny airspace, close to Paris.

SignalPack manages positioning, signalling and performance restrictions. It features automatic identification, positioning LEDs, an emergency audio beacon and a fly-zone restriction mechanism. According to the company it is compatible with all drones, either already on the market or soon to be released.

The unit allows for the

  • Reporting of the drone’s position, altitude and operator
  • Limiting the flight to specific zones: altitude and range
  • Flagging the drone with LEDs
  • In an emergency, activating an audio beacon

SignalPack updates automatically to follow country regulations in which the operator is based.

The SESAR Horizon 2020 PODIUM project will demonstrate unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) services, procedures and technologies at four operational sites in Denmark, France and the Netherlands throughout 2018 and 2019. It supports U-space, the European Commission’s vision for the safe, secure and efficient handling of drone traffic and a key enabler for the growing drone market to generate economic and societal benefits. The three main work strands are:

  • Demonstrating U-space services, procedures and technologies at four operational sites at Odense in Denmark, Bretigny and Toulouse in France, and Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands throughout 2018 and 2019
  • Providing agreed conclusions on the maturity of U-space services and technologies – backed up by evidence on flight efficiency, safety, security and human performance metrics etc. – when used in a defined set of operational scenarios and environments
  • Providing recommendations on future deployment and for regulations and standards


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