Joining forces to satisfy the growing need for UTM, the companies will leverage Thales’s expertise in air traffic management, system integration and cyber security as well as Unifly’s dedicated focus on drone management to provide the 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 the 2016 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,” said Marc Kegelaers, Chief Executive Officer, Unifly.
Unifly’s 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.