Sunhillo, Frequentis develop voice communications system to link drone pilot to UTM/ATM controller

A participant in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) test sites in the US run by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA, Sunhillo recently expanded its range of UAS solutions. The company’s UAS-Connector (UAS-C) now features voice communications following a joint development with Frequentis. UAS-C is designed to connect directly to a UAS ground control station to obtain positional data from the UAS, for example operating under NASA task orders at the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) UAS test site. UAS-C does not rely on radar or Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) but converts UAS position information using Sunhillo’s proprietary software. It can also provide the pilot with a See and Avoid display showing all aircraft via radar and ADS-B. The Frequentis partnership introduces voice communications using VoIP technology to connect the air traffic controller and the UAS operator. UAS-C is able to map the location of the UAS to the voice frequency to support two–way voice and data exchange. The development is particular useful for beyond line of visual sight (BVLOS) in areas not covered by conventional surveillance. Sunhillo and Frequentis exhibited the solution at the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) Convention in Washington in the first week of October 2018.

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