Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems and UAS (unmanned aerial systems) service provider Canadian UAVs have announced that the two companies have partnered to develop an unmanned traffic management solution that will solve the challenge of real-time airspace situational awareness for flying UAVs beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS).
Flying drones BVLOS significantly improves their effectiveness and potential, but also requires extra precautions and systems in order to ensure safe and reliable operations. The proposed solution will build a complete airspace picture necessary to conduct unmanned BVLOS operations in Canada and beyond.
Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems will integrate VCSi, a Lockheed Martin-developed control station software package for unmanned vehicles. The universal ground control system has attained more than 1.5 million flight hours in military and commercial UAV flight operations.
Canadian UAVs will provide their ground-based Sparrowhawk radar, which when combined with the VCSi platform will give users a complete airspace picture of both manned and unmanned aviation tracking, as well as providing essential collision avoidance. Sparrowhawk has previously been deployed by Canadian UAVs as part of the company’s first permitted BVLOS flights outside of restricted airspace.
Dustin Engen, Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems Business Development Manager, commented: “A complete airspace picture is an absolutely necessity to conduct unmanned flights beyond visual line of sight. When combined, Canadian UAV’s Sparrowhawk radar and our VCSi product will offer all users this complete picture and provide the necessary situational awareness for BVLOS flights in Canada and abroad.”
Sean Greenwood, President of Canadian UAVs, said: “With Canadian UAVs’ advanced market position in BVLOS operations, we are seeing a lot of gaps in what the general market offers to solve fundamental technological issues in unmanned aviation. As a result, we developed a technology roadmap that invests in a comprehensive toolset to increase flight safety and repeatability as these operations increase in volume and airspace complexity. We have been working with Lockheed Martin CDL Systems for several years and we are very excited by this agreement to formalize the relationship.”