GE Aviation and Auterion have announced the integration of the Auterion Enterprise PX4 operating system on GE Aviation’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) avionics platform. The two companies signed a teaming agreement to provide a comprehensive hardware and software solution for drone manufacturers and operators seeking to enable commercial drone operations at scale.
The teaming enables a full stack solution with airborne autopilot and application computing hardware, flight management, safety management and integration. GE Aviation is providing the avionics hardware, application computing, flight management and integration into airframes. Auterion is providing Enterprise PX4, the operating system that runs on the vehicle, in the cloud and the ground station.
The core architecture of the hardware and software platform has been implemented with the objective of supporting developers through global open software standards while maintaining an independent and authoritative safety controller. The combination of the two supports long-term flexibility and a high level of design assurance to enable commercial drone operations beyond visual line of sight and within complex airspace and obstacle environments.
Flight testing of the hardware and software platform took place at Reno-Stead airport in Reno, Nevada. “In demonstrating a seamless integration of ground, cloud and airborne components, we’ve reached another milestone in helping to unlock the value in autonomous and UAS advanced operations,” said Alan Caslavka, president of Avionics Systems for GE Aviation. “Auterion’s open standards leadership and cooperative legacy with the developer community is foundational to a scalable and sustainable solution critical for commercial drones.”
“We are excited about the collaboration with GE Aviation that allows us to offer our operating system on high reliability hardware to meet future regulations,” said Kevin Sartori, Co-Founder of Auterion. “With this collaboration, the combined solution will significantly reduce barriers commercial cargo drones face flying in manned airspace or inspection drones to flying in urban areas.”
This collaboration combines proven prerequisites where GE Aviation leverages their experience in avionics and unmanned airborne systems whereas the Auterion team, around co-founder Lorenz Meier, brings to the table more than a decade of experience of software development for autonomous systems in the open source community.
Auterion’s software platform provides core airborne software infrastructure including flight peripherals and camera integrations, data networking, precision navigation and compliance with traffic management. Working closely with the open source community, Auterion software on the vehicle is largely developed on top of the leading open source robotics software projects, PX4 and ROS 2.
The hardware and software platform is designed with commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and/or service providers in mind, and will be demonstrated at the AUVSI Xponential trade show in Chicago.