Frequentis has partnered with Dimetor, a mobile network connectivity start-up, to enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.
Dimetor is providing high quality 3G/LTE coverage information which is visualised and used within Frequentis’s flight planning tool, thereby ensuring that BVLOS drone operators can ensure that their drones will fly where reliable command and control (C2) communications will be possible. This approach also gives the operator the ability to check to check see if they have the connectivity to stream data directly from the drone.
BVLOS capabilities are considered key for many future commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) use cases, including public safety, industrial inspection and urban air mobility. Recent drone trials in Finland and Estonia for the Gulf of Finland (GOF) U-space project have indicated the need for consistent data sharing between the UAV and the unmanned aircraft system traffic Management (UTM) system.
Dimetor’s connectivity platform, AirborneRF, is deployed at the operational data centres of mobile network operators (MNOs), processing highly confidential network data for assuring cellular connectivity for UAV operations. Flight planning tools like Frequentis’s CADAS-ATS and other U-space services can use the constraints in the pre-tactical/tactical phase of a BVLOS drone flight and either approve or reject the proposed flight plan. AirborneRF can also be used to demonstrate network capabilities to airspace regulators and UAV service providers.
The companies claim that their partnership enables the MNOs to seamlessly integrate the connectivity information into the aeronautical information management database (AIMdb), and thus to become an integral part of the developing ecosystem for commercial BVLOS drone operations.
“By partnering with Dimetor, we can further explore and advance our work in the field of ATM and UTM. Through this cooperation, we will exchange our knowledge and experiences and work together to strengthen and develop the future airspace ecosystem, enabling the provision of critical data for safe BVLOS drone flights. This partnership is a significant step towards enabling our customers to keep pace with the additional growth by minimising operating costs.” said Hannu Juurakko, Frequentis chairman of the ATM executive team.
“At Dimetor we are delighted to be partnering with Frequentis. This will enable an integrated solution bringing together the 3D cellular connectivity information for safe BVLOS operations with Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) and UTM/ATM systems - on global scale”, said Thomas Wana, Dimetor co-founder and CTO.
Author: Sam Fenwick