Canada’s Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) Traffic Management (RTM) initiative – a joint programme run by Transport Canada and Nav Canada – has selected two teams carry out official service trials to test unmanned traffic management operations, including a partnership led by AirMarket.
Members of AirMarket’s team include strategic partners TELUS, ASTRA UTM, ClearSky Connect, INVOLI, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Starting in a 425 km corridor in Northern Alberta, the partners will be conducting Cellular-enabled UTM and Sensing Data Services in conjunction with Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) and one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies. The trial aims to generate data and experience that will be used by Transport Canada in the development of regulations for BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone operations and the delivery of commercial cellular-enabled UTM services.
According to an AirMarket press release, the team will be conducting Cellular-enabled UTM and Sensing Data Services trials in conjunction with the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) and one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies, starting in a 425 km corridor in Northern Alberta, and have conducted early tests of its system architecture under VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) regulations. This project has received support from the Alberta Innovates Digital Innovation for Clean Energy (DICE) program.
“The core capabilities underpinning UTM are speed, low latency data transmission, and a high level of cyber-security,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, Chief Technology Officer at TELUS. “These capabilities are enabled through ultra-reliable wireless connectivity leveraging 4G LTE and our evolving 5G technology. We look forward to working with our partners on this ground-breaking project and continuing to play a vital role in advancing Canada’s leadership in the unmanned aviation space.”
The initiative aims to fast track the safe use of drones at scale in the Energy sector, reduce costs for monitoring and reduce environmental footprint. The solution will also be widely applicable in other sectors and jurisdictions.
According to an INVOLI press release, the Swiss specialist is deploying a network of receivers onto existing cellular TELUS infrastructure, capitalising on its experience in Switzerland with national telecommunication company. The network will gather data on cooperative air traffic enabling the team to benefit from comprehensive air traffic awareness (including at low altitude) and in general from an increased level of safety of operations.
One of the main goals of the partnership between AirMarket and INVOLI is to offer common, scalable solutions to the UAV industry, by building upon the experience of both INVOLI and AirMarket to generate innovative technologies, particularly within the telecommunications’ framework, and by bringing the lessons learnt during the trials to the entire industry. INVOLI Chief Business Development Officer, Mélanie Guittet, noted: “We are very excited to announce this partnership, after many months of working behind the scenes to make it all happen, we can leverage all this work and combine our efforts to bring to the industry a common, enhanced solution for more and more complex drone operations.”
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