The Unmanned Behind the Curtain: Technology & Autonomous Infrastructure

Webinar Details
  • Hosted by
  • May 6, 2021, (UTC)
  • Register for a range of sessions:


    Developing an UTM Framework in the UK: Results of the Connected Places Catapult Open-Access UTM Build and Test Project
    11:00 AM – 11:45 AM ET

    Industry technical leaders from five international Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) providers, AiRXOS, part of GE Aviation, Altitude Angel, ANRA, Collins, and Wing, will discuss results from a successful 2020-2021 project building and testing the initial version of an Open-Access UTM framework in the United Kingdom. Sponsored by the UK Department for Transport and led by the Connected Places Catapult, the project culminated in flight tests in February 2021 demonstrating registration, strategic deconfliction, dynamic constraints, Remote Identification, monitoring and alerting, and tactical rerouting services for drones. During this panel session, panelists will explore key findings, lessons learned, the role of autonomy, recommendations for government UTM policy, and the enablement of economically-viable UAS and UTM businesses.


    Highways in the Sky: Redefining Last-mile Healthcare Logistics
    12:00 PM – 12:45 PM ET

    Today’s challenge, in urban settings, is to maintain and create healthy and happy communities. Only well-planned cities that fully integrate robust and multimodal health supply chains can achieve this. The densely populated urban centers of Australia, for example, are designed to accommodate the fast-paced, time-poor and high-intensity nature of city living. While in urban environments the health challenge is to provide convenience for the consumer and efficiency of the last mile for the health provider; in remote and rural areas the challenge is not only about creating efficiencies but also about giving access to basic healthcare. There are a number of different ways of addressing these issues, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Of the solutions utilizing cutting edge technology, medical drone deliveries are one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways of making sure people have access to the medical commodities they need, on demand. This has been demonstrated extensively in the developing world by a number of companies and is now being rolled out more widely in OECD countries; Swoop Aero is one of the companies leading this charge, and we are excited to share our experiences of how this has contributed to the improvement of health logistics.


    Trusted Information Integrity as an Enabler of Autonomous Aviation Systems
    12:00 PM – 12:45 PM ET

    There are efforts across the aviation community to increase the level of automation associated with operations. Whether it be to simplify flight controls of piloted aircraft or eventually to have unmanned aircraft automatically delivering parcels and eventually people. This future will be enabled by increased automation both on-board the aircraft and on the ground. Ground systems will include ANSP systems, systems managed by the operator, and third-party automation systems (e.g., UTM). These distributed decision systems will be sharing information in real time. More importantly, they will be dependent upon information shared with them as well information from their own sensors to make decisions and take actions that could impact the safety of flight. Fundamental to ensuring trust in increasingly autonomous flight operations will be the integrity (e.g., timeliness and accuracy) of the information flowing among distributed decision-making entities including aircraft, ground infrastructure, and human decisionmakers. This presentation will outline the importance of a trusted information integrity management system as an enabler of increased automation in a distributed decision-making environment. Potential technical approaches for trusted information integrity management will be discussed. For regulators and the community to trust autonomy, a trusted information integrity management capability is likely required.


    Mayflower Autonomous Ship
    12:00 PM – 12:45 PM ET

    Speaker: BRETT A PHANEUF
    Managing Director, MSUBS Ltd


    Using Vehicle Lighting as a Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communication Modality
    1:00 PM – 1:45 PM ET

    Many current vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems utilize the radio frequency communications such as cellphone networks as the communication system backbone. However, the need exists for back-up communication systems in case the cellphone network is down such as is common during natural disasters. This research investigates the use of vehicle lighting to allow the transmission of data to nearby vehicles and infrastructure. The short range nature of the optical communication system enhances message security while at the same time allowing for ad-hoc network formation when desired.


    Detect and Avoid. Why It Is Such a Challenge?
    1:00 PM – 1:45 PM ET

    Commercial viability of the ‘drone economy’ requires UAS operate BVLOS, but the threat of collisions with manned aircraft is real and concerning. The aviation backbone of the country depends on safety of the NAS and UAS that fly beyond supervision of the pilot, or autonomously, must not reverse this trend. Therefore, all UAS that operate BVLOS must have systems for detecting and avoiding (DAA) manned aircraft. DAA sensors may be described in two ways, UAS-borne and land/sea based. UAS with onboard DAA carry its detection range with it, while ground based must detect well beyond a distant UAS. sUAS also require DAA with low SWaP and face collision from all directions requiring 360 coverage. Observe how you detect aircraft. You hear the aircraft first and use your ears to locate them even when obscured by buildings, trees, fog or darkness. Based on this observation SARA developed patented DAA systems using passive acoustics which have proven capable of satisfying ASTM DAA Performance Requirements in independent testing with USAF Test Pilot School and FAA’s 2018 Pathfinder Program. SARA’s ground networks provide wide-area surveillance over unlimited ranges and are deployed in numerous locations in the US and operated by two FAA test sites.


    Quantitative Analytics for BVLOS Operational Risk Assessment
    1:00 PM – 1:45 PM ET

    BVLOS flight approvals are complex and take a lot of manual work. They necessarily include operational risk assessments which lack standard guidance for completing. Using a standardized, quantitative approach, we’ll show how to assess operational risk for navigation and communication systems, leading to a more automated ORA and BVLOS approval process.


    Visual Object Detection and Classification in ISR Systems
    2:00 PM – 2:45 PM ET

    With new AI classification implementations available to unmanned system integrators, it is important to determine the optimal processing architecture to benefit system goals. Running classification on detections output by an edge processor lowers latency and improves situational awareness. The discussion will also review SWaP advantages of combining object detection and classification, along with other edge processing functions critical to ISR applications.


    Posted by Emma Wilden Connect & Contact