Unmanned Traffic Management System Launched in Germany

By Mike Ball / 30 May 2020
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Droniq unmanned traffic management system

Droniq has launched a fully operational unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management system (UTM) in Germany, allowing drones to be safely integrated into civil airspace and perform commercial flights over long distances. The system provides drone tracking and control over LTE as well as real-time transmission of video, image and sensor data, and to date has successfully completed more than 50 long-range flights, covering a flight distance of around 2,350 km.

German airspace is too crowded to reserve portions of it specifically for drones, meaning that unmanned aircraft need to be integrated safely and efficiently into existing airspace. Droniq – a joint venture between German air navigation service provider DFS, and Deutsche Telekom – has developed a UTM system that shows both manned and unmanned traffic in a combined airspace display. Users can plan missions and check which permits are required for each flight. As soon a mission begins, the surrounding airspace is displayed as occupied to other UTM users. The web display also shows relevant manned air traffic that users must avoid.

Droniq has developed a hook-on device (HOD), a matchbox-sized and lightweight LTE modem that transmits the position of the drone and its identification to the UTM system via the cellular network. It also receives the positions of surrounding air traffic and feeds them into the system’s live airspace display. In addition, all general aviation pilots in the vicinity of the drone will automatically receive a warning directly in the cockpit – even if they do not use the UTM service.

Droniq is also the exclusive German distribution partner for Sky Drone, who have developed a module that transmits command & control and payload data, such as video, image or sensor data, in real time via LTE. The combination of tracking, control and payload data transmission via LTE in a single service is unique in Germany. At European level, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is currently working on a concept for U-Space, the future airspace in which both manned and unmanned aircraft will operate.

A full version of the UTM system can now be purchased from Droniq, with a package that includes a monthly licence for the UTM system and the HOD, cellular connectivity for the first year after purchase, and a lifetime FLARM licence. The system is already in operational use by companies in the chemical, energy supply and construction industries, as well as by the police, fire and rescue services.

Jan-Eric Putze, CEO of Droniq, commented: “The hook-on device is in demand throughout Europe and is a leader in the tracking of drones. It will significantly strengthen the German drone market and also set the trend for the creation of the technical standards for drone tracking.”

“Our UTM service complies with the requirements of the EASA’s U-Space concept and can also act as a model for the implementation of U-Space in other European countries. The hook-on device is also the best device for the network remote identification required by EASA,” adds Ralph Schepp, COO of Droniq.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact