Kongsberg Geospatial has partnered with Unifly to develop a real-time UAS (unmanned aerial system) identification and tracking system that integrates Kongsberg Geospatial’s IRIS airspace situational awareness system with Unifly’s BLIP (Broadcast Location & Identity Platform), and will enable monitoring of drones over LTE wireless broadband networks.
Based on technology that was originally created for missile defense applications, IRIS provides enhanced situational awareness for operators of both UAVs and UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles). The system fuses data from a wide range of real-time sensors, including Unifly’s BLIP, to provide drone pilots with a precise real-time picture of their operational airspace when piloting one or more UAVs beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS).
BLIP uses real-time drone tracking to enable safe BVLOS flights. The autonomous weather-proof tracker is a stand-alone device that is mounted to the drone but functions independently, with its own power source and sensors for position, altitude, temperature, pressure, speed and direction. BLIP broadcasts the drone’s identification information, 3D location and take-off position over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and features an integrated Data Platform that translates the data and forwards it in real-time to multiple UTM systems or real-time airspace situational awareness applications such as IRIS.
Ranald McGillis, President of Kongsberg Geospatial, commented: “We’re proud to be part of the important role of flight safety in unmanned vehicle operations. Our IRIS Airspace management for unmanned systems was created to help safely operate drones and autonomous vehicles beyond visual line-of-sight. The Unifly BLIP technology is a world leader to help effectively integrate unmanned systems into a variety of urban operations.”
Laurent Huenaerts, General Manager of Unifly in North America, said: “Remote identification and real-time tracking are two foundational capabilities for the safe and secure integration of drones into the airspace, especially around critical infrastructure and in urban areas. The Unifly BLIP tracker provides this information and its Data Platform allows for a seamless integration with situational awareness systems like IRIS. We are very pleased to now be integrated with the world-leading airspace visualization platform that Kongsberg Geospatial has developed.”