Posts tagged "Unifly"

Pictured from left to right: Marc Kegelaers (Unifly), Marc Coen (Unifly), Laurent Huenaerts (Unifly), Sasha Bilous (Aeronyde), Ellen Malfliet (Unifly) and Eric Acton (Aeronyde)

July 16, 2018. Melbourne, FL– Today, Florida-based Autonomous Aerial Systems (AAS) company Aeronyde and Belgian Unmanned Traffic Management provider Unifly announced a partnership to bring advanced UAV technology to emergency responders. The companies will integrate Unifly’s Unmanned Traffic Management services, along with Aeronyde’s system for Autonomous flight, to create an efficient self-flying system for police and fire departments.

The Aeronyde-Unifly partnership will create an autonomous system to enable emergency responders to scale their drone operations. The resulting system will offer on-demand dispatching of registered and authorized drones, and will deliver real-time situational awareness of scenes of distress.

State and local authorities and public safety services are increasingly leveraging drones in their daily operations in order to fulfil their core missions. Drones are already being used in numerous use-cases, such as fire spot detection from above buildings, tracking fleeing suspects, search & rescue operations, on-demand AED delivery, scene reconstruction after a car accident, and more. Aeronyde’s technology will enable the development of many more use-cases, including routine neighborhood aerial patrols to keep citizens safe during the day and at night.

The Aeronyde-Unifly partnership works to simplify the drone dispatch and management process, to enable Emergency Responders to focus on the valuable data that serves their mission, not on the logistics of operating drones:  Before the flight, drone operators can easily plan and validate their mission through a user-friendly interface. Unifly’s flight validation engine not only checks compliance with all federal, state, and local rules and regulations, but it also ensures deconfliction between drone operations. The platform enables the local operators and central authorities to monitor and track the drones in real time. After an operation, specific tools such as the logs and the replay mode, allow for easy post-flight analysis and analytics.

The Aeronyde-Unifly integration is currently in development and will be demonstrated later this summer in the presence of local and state authorities and key industry stakeholders.

Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly: “Unifly truly believes in building a global ecosystem of partners in order to advance the drone industry. In this way, we are very happy to support Aeronyde in implementing its ambitious ideas and proud that our technology will help public safety agencies to better serve and protect the citizens”.

Edgar Munoz, CEO of Aeronyde: “Whenever I visit a new city, I look up and see endless possibility. I see self-flying vehicles zipping safely along urban skyways, helping people and serving the needs of a growing world. To make this happen, we’re honoured to partner with Unifly, a leader in unmanned traffic management, systems design, airspace safety and regulation, and beyond. The Sky’s no Limit!”.

About Aeronyde

Aeronyde Corporation is an Autonomous Aerial Systems (AAS) building safest and most reliable autonomous fleet management platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The firm aims to deliver a turnkey Level 6 autonomy UAV service for emergency responders and disaster relief in 2019. Aeronyde, based on the Florida Space Coast, is working with local emergency response agencies in Palm Bay, FL to identify key operational needs and requirements of ER personnel.

Aeronyde’s Autonomous Fleet Management (AFM) platform together with our intelligent UAVs will bring order to autonomous urban UAS operations. Our goal is to ensure public safety and privacy are addressed prior to commercialization. In collaboration with IBM, Aeronyde will introduce advanced machine learning for UAS to deliver the highest quality of service to public safety clients. The Live Inspection and Surveillance Aircraft (LISA) platform will demonstrate safe urban operation with enhanced data collection capabilities.

To read more about Aeronyde, visit www.aeronyde.com

About Unifly

Unifly is a leading global supplier of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) solutions, connecting authorities with operators to integrate drones into the airspace safely and securely and to make denser traffic of automated drone operations possible.

Founded by experienced air traffic controllers and pilots with an in-depth knowledge of aviation and the existing safety culture, Unifly has built extensive experience through its active participation in numerous international research projects and the successful deployment of its UTM solutions at a national scale with Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA), Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP), airports, local authorities, and technology partners around the world.

To read more about Unifly, visit www.unifly.aero

Left to right: Koen Meuleman, CFO of Unifly and Alex Wang Yufeng, President of Huawei Wireless X Labs

Shenzhen, China – June 11th, 2018 – Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd and Unifly N.V have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the field of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems. The MoU covers both research and development, and a joint market approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, or drone) management.

The global market for UAS is growing rapidly as drones become established in diverse vertical markets such as agriculture, oil and gas, and logistics. According to SPO Lab, a business research organization inside Huawei, the global UAS market opportunity is estimated to exceed USD100B over the next five years as thousands of drones take to the skies.

As the number of drones occupying the airspace above our cities and towns dramatically increases, a key concern for national Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) is how this disruptive technology can be permitted to flourish within a managed environment. Registration, insurance, air worthiness and certification are top of mind for national agencies – as is allaying public concerns regarding safety and privacy. New solutions are required, as the existing methodology for airspace management neither scopes nor scales to address these concerns. ANSPs are looking to technology and communication providers for innovative and assured solutions to meet this challenge.

Huawei has developed a technology to identify and locate drone users based on the operator’s SIM card. Huawei’s technology combined with Unifly’s Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platform enables ANSPs to integrate drones into the airspace safely and securely. Leveraging globally standardized cellular technology to connect official agencies and drone operators, Unifly’s UTM platform makes it possible to not only follow drones in real-time, but also to determine who is flying, where they are flying and whether they are permitted to be in that airspace. Aligned with initiatives such as U-space, which supports the EU’s aviation strategy and regulatory framework to enable dense drone air traffic, Unifly’s platform also includes key digital technologies for flight planning, airspace management, live tracking and dynamic situational awareness.

 “4.5G and 5G technology play a key role in the registration and identification of drones and drone users as well as the tracking of drones in the airspace; essential services in a UTM architecture. We are delighted to collaborate with Unifly to address the challenges of mass market connected drone deployment”: commented Peter Zhou, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei Wireless Networks

Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly said: “I am very excited to announce our partnership with Huawei. Huawei is a world leader in wireless technology and Unifly is a world leader in unmanned traffic management. Now both parties have agreed to join forces to create a comprehensive, end-to-end solution for the UTM market, I am convinced we will see the next step in drone integration into the general airspace very soon.

About Huawei X Labs

Huawei X Labs is a research platform connecting operators, vertical industry partners and industry leaders to jointly explore future use cases for mobile applications, drive innovation in business and technology, and promote an open industry ecosystem.

http://www.huawei.com/en/industry-insights/innovation/xlabs

About Unifly

Unifly is an award-winning, leading provider of Unmanned Traffic Management technology.

The Unifly UTM platform is already in use by the national Air Navigation Service Providers in four European countries to integrate drone traffic safely in the national airspace. In Europe, Unifly contributes to major SESAR research programs to define, develop and test the U-space concept. In the USA, Unifly is building an organization to deploy and support the UTM software in support of local initiatives, such as the UAS Integration Pilot Programs. Furthermore, Unifly has set up regional Value Resellers in the APAC region, the Middle East and Africa and is active in humanitarian drone research for UNICEF. Unifly actively promotes and contributes to international cooperation initiatives through the Global UTM Association (GUTMA), of which Unifly’s CEO Marc Kegelaers is the Vice-president.

https://www.unifly.aero/

Michael Scheibenreif demonstrating a drone. @UNICEF/Malawi/ 2017/ CMauluka

At AUVSI Xponential in Denver, drones are everywhere. The global community of commercial and military leaders meet up yearly to discover and share the latest in robotics, drones and unmanned systems. This year’s edition focuses on the unmanned economy, lifestyle and the use of drones for humanitarian purposes.

Marc Coen, CCO of Unifly, presents Unifly’s work in UNICEF’s humanitarian drone corridor in Malawi.

Drones are a hot topic and their applications are seemingly endless. Especially in harsh environments, drones can be a lifesaving tool. Drones can help save lives, not only during a sudden disaster, but for daily humanitarian purposes and medical supply chains.

With drones, even the remotest regions can receive lifesaving materials in a matter of minutes or hours.

Unicef’s Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor was opened in Malawi in June 2017. It is specifically dedicated to the humanitarian and development uses for drones.

The first of its kind in Africa, the corridor serves as a dedicated unmanned flight testing space and allows for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) testing in a territory over 5000 km² and up to 400 meters above ground level.

The corridor has a 40km radius (80km diameter) and is centered on Kasungu Aerodrome (with a runway length of about 1200m) in central Malawi, about an hour and a half drive from the capital city of Lilongwe. Kasungu is home to a district hospital and a variety of rural health clinics in remote areas, enabling the testing of real humanitarian use cases such as the transport of vaccines, medical supplies or blood samples.
Marc Coen, Chief Commercial Officer of Unifly, was in Malawi to set up the first Unmanned Traffic Management system in Africa in November 2017.

Marc Coen travelled to Malawi to set up the UTM system. He explains: “Unifly provides the Unmanned Traffic Management system to ensure safe testing in the drone corridor. In this project, our software platform connects with uAvionix trackers to follow the drones in real-time.

The first test of the UTM System was in November 2017, during a fully autonomous, simulated blood sample delivery flight. The flight testing explored drone applications in emergency medical supply delivery, vaccines and sample delivery for diagnosis, and remote sensing. Drones can carry lifesaving materials, in places where developed transportation networks do not exist.

A small community located 17 km from the aerodrome was chosen because of the health centre located there and the bad road connection to Kasungu. After one aborted test flight, the second try proved to be a perfect, fully autonomous flight to Kasungu airport. The flight took some 16 minutes and covered an actual distance of 19 km – find more information on the flights here.

For us, the biggest challenge was the infrastructure, or lack thereof. Electricity and internet were intermittent, we also experienced some practical issues. The first time we set up a successful UTM system was back in November. However due to technical issues with the tracker, we were not able to follow the drone at that time.

In November, the secondary goal of the test flight was for Virginia Tech to coach students and faculty from Malawian universities how to construct the aircraft so it can be fabricated and operated locally in Malawi for remote medicine delivery and remote sensing purposes.  The drones are made of foam core (poster board) and 3D printed parts to facilitate local production and keep costs low.

At the second UTM test earlier this month, Swedish FlyPulse and Globhe sent out a drone that combines transport with aerial photography. The goal was once again to deliver medical supplies to areas that are hard to reach, with another secondary goal to the mission. Their drone can capture and interpret aerial imaging. This way important information is made available, such as the quality of the roads, the number of houses in each area and the effects of possible natural disasters such as flooding. This drone flight was a lot longer as well, at 66km. For us, the second attempt was more successful because we could follow the drone’s movements on our screen in real-time.

We believe it is very important to build an ecosystem of drone experts locally to ensure that these solutions are sustainable and embedded within the communities it services.”

Juan Jiménez, Director UAS Business Development at uAvionix, says: “As a safety-focused company, the life-saving potential of unmanned systems has always appealed to us. uAvionix is proud to participate in humanitarian efforts such as this one with UNICEF and Unifly. Even in areas with sparse infrastructure, ADS-B can be used both as a surveillance and DAA aid to BVLOS applications.”

Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly, says ” It has been a pleasure to work with uAvionix in setting up the UTM system for the Malawi Drone Corridor. As a world leader in UTM software technology, Unifly seeks to establish world-wide partnerships with the leaders in their field to build comprehensive UTM systems. The cooperation between uAvionix and Unifly is a perfect example of what can be achieved when complementary companies join forces to create an all-encompassing solution.”

About the drone corridor
The Malawi drone test corridor is open to industry, universities, and individuals who can apply and test a potential use case in one of the three main areas as defined below. The drone corridor in Malawi is an opportunity for companies to provide global leadership in the emerging technology field of drones for humanitarian and development work, while simultaneously developing local experience in Malawi.
The corridor will facilitate testing in three main areas:

  1. Imagery – generating and analyzing aerial images for development and during humanitarian crises, including for situation monitoring in floods and earthquakes;
  2. Connectivity – exploring the possibility for UAVs to extend Wi-Fi or cell phone signals across difficult terrain, particularly in emergencies;
  3. Transport – delivery of small low weight supplies such as emergency medical supplies, vaccines and samples for laboratory diagnosis, including for HIV testing.

The corridor is designed to provide a controlled platform for the private sector, universities, and other partners to explore how drones can be used in scenarios that will benefit marginalized communities. All data generated by the flights will be used to inform the Government of Malawi’s plans for the use of drones in multiple scenarios. This is particularly important due to frequent flooding in some areas of Malawi and challenges in transport infrastructure.

For more information, read Unicef’s article here.

For more information, contact Ellen Malfliet, Marketing & Communications Manager of Unifly
+32 471 62 91 92, ellen.malfliet@unifly.aero

Press Conference – Terra Drone CEO, Toru Tokushige (third from the right)

Terra Drone Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese industrial drone service provider, and KDDI Corporation,  a Japanese telecommunications operator succeeded in a fully autonomous flight experiment of “Smart Drone” using “3D map” and “Drone Port.” As a result of the experiment, the world’s first long-distance drone flight of about 6.3 km via the “Drone Port” which enables a drone to recharge automatically, successfully returned to the landing site after spraying terraced ponds of Nishikigoi (carp) with pesticide.

Terra Drone and KDDI aim to establish an infrastructure that enables secure long-distance autonomous flight utilizing Smart Drone and the mobile communication network.

This demonstration is an experiment for safe flight altitude setting on the “3D map” and automatic charging by “drone port,” which verified that the long-distance autonomous drone flight is technically possible.

KDDI has partnered with Terra Drone and Zenrin, a Japanese map publisher to jointly developed “Smart Drones Platform,” which realizes safe drone flight using the mobile communication network and 3D map for autonomous drone flight and set a secure flight altitude automatically. 3D map enables a drone to cognize altitude differences of topography such as mountains and hills, buildings, and Terra Drone and KDDI accomplished automatic discrimination of difference in elevation of more than 100m in this experiment.

Also, the “Drone Port” developed by Prodrone Co., Ltd., industrial drone platform manufacturer,  has the automatic landing function based on image recognition which enables long-distance flight via Drone Port.

Yamakoshi City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, where the demonstration experiment conducted, has one of the leading Nishikigoi pools in Japan. To breed a beautiful and large Nishikigoi, spraying all over the terraced ponds with pesticide in a boat is time-consuming and labor-intensive.

With Smart Drone capable of long-distance autonomous flight using “3D map” and mobile communication network, you can automatically set altitude and apply effective pesticide spraying just by setting the location.

In the future, when Smart Long-distance autonomous flight infrastructure of smart drone using this mobile communication network has established, this platform will be active in the fields of not only agriculture but also surveying topography and equipment, security of facilities, disaster monitoring and delivery to remote areas.

Please refer to Smart Drone website for details on “4G LTE Operation Management System”  (http://smartdrone.kddi.com)

Reference: Time & Space

About Terra Drone Co., Ltd.

Our head office is located in Tokyo, with five branches scattered throughout Japan and Australia. We are utilize the finest laser and photo surveying methods through our drones, creating high quality 3D mapping, and providing essential tools for construction management both within and outside Japan.

Featured is our original drone technology, high security quality, high speed data analysis, reflexive response, and cutting-edge software.  Our targeted clients for the ideal business are major construction companies, civil engineering and land surveying companies. To date, we have had greater than 500 UAV surveying projects completed, making us the highest regarded UAV surveyors under the “i-Construction initiative in Japan.  In the field of drone management systems (UTM), we have partnered with Unifly and developing a flight management system that is truly next generation. Our group company, Terra Motors, manufactures and sells innovative electric-motor bicycles and tricycles in Asia. Sales figures are above 30,000 individual units per year and controls 85% of the overseas sales ratio.

Drone technology is on the rise and the number of drones in the air is increasing at a rapid pace. These vehicles are often hard to detect since they literally fly below the radar. The chances of conflicts between drones and manned air traffic (or between drones themselves) pose safety concerns and require technology solutions.

CLASS or CLear Air Situation for uaS, is a project funded as part SESAR 2020, the programme for air traffic management modernization, and within the framework of Horizon 2020. The CLASS project aims to combine existing technologies to build the core functions need for safe and secure drone traffic management. More specifically, the research aims to validate technologies required for the surveillance of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, also known as drone) traffic.

Functionalities to be researched include real-time tracking and the display of both cooperative and non-cooperative drones. Drones that transmit their location themselves are called cooperative, whereas for non-cooperative drones the locations are observed and tracked by the external system. In both cases, relevant aeronautical data is aggregated and the data from multiple trackers (both on the drones and on the ground-based systems) is merged through data fusion so that the location of all drones in the airspace can be known and displayed.

Based on these functionalities, a surveillance system will be developed. This system will centralise information of both the planned and the current real-time drone traffic situation. The system will provide the basis with which to develop services tailored to end-users such as drone operators, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and authorities. Advanced services include tactical geo-fencing (where the drone pilot is warned automatically if he trespasses into an unauthorised zone), geo-caging (where the drone pilot is warned that he is leaving a pre-defined zone), conflict detection and resolution.

The project will validate the drone detection and tracking technologies during live demonstrations, and publish and share its results with the relevant stakeholders, including the drone users and the air traffic management community.Conclusions and recommendations for follow up will be largely disseminated to enable drones to safely operate on large scale for the benefit of the growing drone business. The conclusions and recommendations serve as the basis for future projects. They can also help regulatory bodies advance in the right direction, inform the industry on where to put efforts and show the research community where are the technological difficulties.

The CLASS project is spearheaded by Airbus Defense and Space. International partners Aveillant, ENAC, NTNU and Unifly join forces to research and evaluate the ground-based technologies’ potential to monitor and separate drone traffic in a real-time unmanned aerial system traffic management system (UTMS).

“Airspace safety is a major concern for Airbus. By leading CLASS and bringing its expertise in safety of life systems, Airbus supports authorities and their regulation of the airspace to ensure that all users can fly safely, without endangering neither airspace users nor the public on the ground,” says Alexandre Piot, Aerospatial Engineer at Airbus Defense and Space.

About SESAR

As the technological pillar of the Single European Sky initiative, SESAR aims to modernise and harmonise air traffic management in Europe. The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) was established in 2007 as a public-private partnership to support this endeavour. It does so by pooling the knowledge and resources of the entire ATM community in order to define, research, develop and validate innovative technological and operational solutions. The SESAR JU is also responsible for the execution of the European ATM Master Plan which defines the EU priorities for R&D and implementation. Founded by the European Union and Eurocontrol, the SESAR JU has 19 members, who together with their partners and affiliate associations represent over 100 companies working in Europe and beyond. The SESAR JU also works closely with staff associations, regulators, airport operators and the scientific community.

Learn more about SESAR: www.sesar.eu www.sesarju.eu
About Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020’s focus is on Europe’s competitive edge in the global market. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
About U-space

U-space is a set of new services and specific procedures designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for large numbers of drones. These services rely on a high level of digitalisation and automation of functions, whether they are on board the drone itself, or are part of the ground-based environment.

The CLASS project complies with services U1, U2 and U3 as defined in the U-space initiative. U1 foundation services provide e-registration, e-identification and geofencing. U2 initial services support the management of drone operations and may include flight planning, flight approval, tracking, airspace dynamic information, and procedural interfaces with air traffic control. U3 advanced services support more complex operations in dense areas and may include capacity management and assistance for conflict detection. Indeed, the availability of automated Detect And Avoid (DAA) functionalities, in addition to more reliable means of communication, will lead to a significant increase of operations in all environments.

Project partners

Airbus Defence and Space is an integrated company composed of three Business Lines: Military Aircraft, Space Systems and Communication Intelligence and Security. Airbus’ engineers have been working for decades on confliction detection and resolution algorithms.

ENAC, the French Civil Aviation University, is a public institution under the supervision of the French Ministry of transport. Its mission is to provide ab-initio and further training for the executives and main players of the civil aviation world and do research in a variety of air transport related domains.

Unifly is the leading provider of UAS Traffic Management (UTM) software in Europe. Not only active in research projects, the Unifly UTM platform is a deployed product that is currently in use by prominent European air navigation service providers.

Aveillant specialises in the development and production of innovative radar products. The company was created as a spin-off from Cambridge Consultants in 2011 to take to market the ground-breaking Holographic Radar technology. The team includes some of the world’s leading experts in radar design and signal processing.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim is the largest and most prominent Norwegian university in engineering and technology. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK) is part of the Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering (IME) at NTNU.

Copenhagen, 13 October 2017 – Naviair and the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority launched an app for drone pilots together with the Belgian software company Unifly, who specializes in safe integration of drones into the airspace.

The new app called “Droneluftrum” and the website www.droneluftrum.dkprovides easy and reliable access to comprehensive information via an interactive map that shows the areas where drones can be used safely and legally as well as the areas where the use of drones is restricted or prohibited.

It is to be seen as an addition to www.droneregler.dk where you can find the rules, regulations and restrictions that apply to drones in Denmark.

Game of Drones
Drones have become very popular all over the world in a short period of time. The number of drones in Denmark is also growing and this poses a challenge to the aviation industry as drones use the same airspace as manned aircraft. The real challenge is that a lot of drone operators do not know where they are allowed or not allowed to fly their drones.

“Our goal is to safely integrate drones into the existing air traffic system. With this app we aim to increase the level of safety in uncontrolled airspace and make it easier for the drone pilots to determine where they can operate without posing a threat to manned aviation. Droneluftrum will make it safer to use drones in the future.”, says Bo Pedersen, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Naviair.

“We are extremely proud to have been selected by Naviair to provide the Danish drone users with a practical way to get relevant and correct, up-to-date information about where they can fly their drones. Unifly seeks to improve aviation safety. We make it possible to integrate drone traffic into the airspace safely. One key element in this is to provide drone users with exact, up-to-date information about where they can fly. We take into account not only the aviation regulations, but also issues like security and privacy.With the Droneluftrum application, the complex aviation rules and regulations as well as temporary limitations are translated to a user-friendly and practical format. We look forward to serving the Danish market with our state-of-the-art technology to improve aviation safety.” remarked the CEO of Unifly, Marc Kegelaers.

The map clearly shows individual areas or facilities that may not be overflown, or which may only be overflown with restrictions. Such areas and facilities include airports and other protected airspaces, hospitals, industrial and energy facilities, police and military premises, waterways, motorways, railway lines and nature reserves.

How to get started
To use the app, users have to activate location services on their handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. They also need to register and can do so for more than one device. The app is available as of today and is free of charge. It is compatible with iOS and android operating systems and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

For further information, please contact:

Press Officer, Naviair, Mette Just
T +45 3247 7908 or mtt@naviair.dk

Questions to regulations:Trafik-, Bygge- og Boligstyrelsen
Luftfartsinspektør Klavs Andersen
T +45 4178 0458 or kand@tbst.dk

Questions about drone traffic management
Marketing & Communications, Unifly
Ellen Malfliet
T +32 471 62 91 92 or ellen.malfliet@unifly.aero

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Woensdrecht, 27 September 2017 – During a live demonstration on Aviolanda Aerospace, two companies from the Netherlands and Belgium joined forces to show that drones can be managed and controlled using a specially developed small transponder combined with Unmanned Traffic Management software.
 
The new technology was developed by Unifly, Belgian developer of Unmanned Traffic Management software (UTM) and the European distributor of uAvionix, supplier of transponders that make the drones visible.
 
Who flies where?
The combination of the UTM platform with the trackers also makes it possible to determine who is flying and whether they should be there. Ellen Malfliet of Unifly: “Our technology is in line with the European U-space initiative that allows for more intensive drone traffic and automatic drone operations, and opens the door to a European drone service market.”
 
Managing laws and regulations
The fully developed UTM platform has a very welcome additional feature on board: it can handle the complex and dynamic European regulations. “Including laws and regulations at national and local level,” says Malfliet. “Authorities can visualize and manage drone flights, and also declare no-drone zones. “Drone operators can register drone pilots and drones, and they can plan and confirm flights proactively to ensure that these flights do not violate national or local rules. “
 
Dutch Drone Center
Dutch Drone Center, the test, training and demo location on Aviolanda Aerospace for unmanned airplanes, hosted the demo. Rob Nispeling: “The purpose of the demo was to show the airspace regulators and executive services what techniques and interactions are possible to make drones electronically visible to traffic management and other airspace users. It was an absolute success. ”

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Antwerp, September 14th, 2017 – Today Belgian scale-up Unifly opens their next international office in Copenhagen, Denmark. Joining us from the Danish Naviair is Ronni Winkler Østergaard who will be spearheading our expansion into the Nordic as the Regional Manager for Scandinavia and the Baltics.

Unifly specialises in Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) software. With nearly 20 years of experience in air traffic control, Ronni is an expert in drone integration. The last three years Ronni has been involved in the safe integration of drones, as a drone program manager for Naviair. He also participated in international working groups including the European aviation R&D program SESAR and SESAR 2020.

“One of the reason I decided to join Unifly is that they have the right vision. I see Unifly as one of the key elements in the safe integration of drones in the airspace. ” says Ronni.

“Drones are a new emerging technology in the aviation world. They offer a huge potential for economic growth and innovation, new business models and new services for citizens. The infrastructure needs to be in place to give drones the opportunity to become a disruptive technology that impacts the world in a positive way. This is what Unifly offers and I am excited to be a part of that. My goal is to give drone technology the opportunity to integrate safely into the world of aviation.”

The new office is located at SingularityU, the innovation hub in the heart of Copenhagen Science City. SingularityU is home to social impactors, fast growing startups, corporates innovating on the edges, robots, biohackers, gadget gurus, thought leaders, researchers, futurists, and much, much more.

Unifly strongly invests in growth. With over 20 employees in the company today, by the end of 2018 the Unifly workforce will increase to almost 50. Unifly is looking for extra talent to strengthen the team.

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung based in Langen, Germany, and Unifly NV based in Antwerp, Belgium, signed a cooperation agreement at the World ATM Congress 2017 in Madrid to jointly develop and market a DFS drone app to be released on the German market later this year. This app will allow operators of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to determine where they can operate without posing a threat to manned aviation.

The cooperation between DFS and Unifly to develop this app is the gateway to finding an effective technological solution with a broad range of applications that will enable UAS pilots to operate more safely in uncontrolled airspace. A crucial component of the DFS drone app will be Unifly’s cloud-based software platform. This platform allows drone operators constant access to an interactive map where they can easily and reliably obtain information about areas where drones can be used safely and legally as well as areas where their use is restricted or prohibited. The drone app should be available in Germany in the second quarter of 2017. Remote pilots who use the app to register with DFS may use the basic version without charge.

“A lot of drone operators do not know where they are allowed or not allowed to fly. Our drone app fills this safety gap by combining our expert knowledge in air navigation with the technical expertise of Unifly, one of the world leaders in unmanned aircraft system traffic management. This app will make it safer to use drones in the future,” explained Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, Chairman and CEO of DFS.

“We are looking forward to working with DFS to develop a product that meets the challenge of safely integrating UAS into the existing system in a practical and effective way. The experience of both partners in this cooperation ideally complements each other,” stated Unifly’s CEO Marc Kegelaers.

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,550 employees as at 31 December 2016. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,000 air traffic controllers guide up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, about three million movements every year. This makes Germany the country with the highest traffic volume in Europe. The company operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich as well as control towers at 16 international airports in Germany. The DFS subsidiary, DFS Aviation Services GmbH, provides air navigation services as well as consultancy services.

 

Unifly, based in Antwerp, Belgium, is a spin-off company of VITO (Flemish institute for technological research) specialised in aviation software development. Unifly is a world leader in UTM (unmanned aircraft system traffic management). The focus of Unifly’s activities is always on safety for all stakeholders involved. Unifly’s innovative tools inform drone operators about where it is safe and legal to fly their drones and enable authorities and other aviation stakeholders to track drone traffic and manage the airspace.

Joining forces to satisfy the growing need for UTM, the companies will leverage Thales’s unparalleled expertise in air traffic management, system integration and cyber security as well as Unifly’s dedicated focus on drone management to provide the premier UTM application. The solution will incorporate Unifly’s Validation Engine, a sophisticated software application that conducts real-time validation of drone flight plans, into Thales ECOsystem, a decision support platform for improved aviation operations.

Leveraging more than 10 years of research and technology innovation, ECOsystem moved from concept to reality to enable ANSPs, airlines and airport operators to plan, monitor, manage and assess aviation operations for better decisions and better results. Through a suite of tools and predictive analytics, stakeholders optimize their operations, as well as contribute to global optimization through data sharing and collaborative applications. Further, ECOsystem is configurable to the customers’ operational requirements, from a global cloud-hosted service, to a local single-facility deployment.

At last year’s World ATM Congress, Thales launched the first application of ECOsystem, Air Traffic Flow Management. This second application, UTM, integrates drone registration, pilot registration, flight planning, and regulatory/business rules with geospatial and meteorological information to enable adaptable workflows for managing drone operations as well as customizable situational awareness using tools such as map overlays, terrain views and 3D projections. The UTM application and data enable automated flight authorizations as well as real-time alerting and intervention in emergency situations. The application will support the rapidly growing demand for UAS operations in both Visual Line of Sight and Beyond Visual Line of Sight while ensuring the public’s safety, security and privacy.

“The number of drones is growing exponentially. Safely integrating such a large number of drones in the airspace is a challenge. This will require a UTM system that provides a high level of automation as well as a seamless integration into the world of ATM.  Thales and Unifly will collaborate to achieve just that.”  Marc Kegelaers, Chief Executive Officer, Unifly

Unifly’s unique validation engine software uses geographically linked data to determine the safety of the intended flight. The Validation Engine is designed to process very large amounts of data. The validation occurs in real-time, both during the flight planning process as well as during the actual flight. Parameters include: position of the drone, airspace, local legislation, no-drone zones, geo-fenced areas, weather, obstacles, roads, as well as other manned and unmanned traffic.

Through working group and industry body participation, Thales and Unifly will team to support the aviation industry as it evolves to safely track and integrate UASs into the manned aviation domain. The companies will collaborate in pursuit of UTM business opportunities around the world.