WATM: CAELUM partners with Frequentis to develop South Korea’s UTM market

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South Korean company, CAELUM, has agreed to collaborate with Frequentis on urban air mobility (UAM) and uncrewed traffic management (UTM) solutions in South Korea.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the growing need for next-generation traffic management systems capable of handling the unique challenges of UAM technologies, including flexible use of airspace.

“Urban air mobility represents the next frontier of aerospace and defence innovation,” said CAELUM CEO, Michael Kwon. “We are confident that by combining CAELUM’s in-house technologies with Frequentis’ ATM expertise and products, we will be able to deliver a first-in-Korea and potentially first-in-the-world – robust, efficient and safety-oriented UTM system.”

In line with their agreement, CAELUM will also serve as Frequentis’ local partner in the South Korean market. This includes supporting localisation of Frequentis’ MosaiX solution, integration support for aviation and transportation centres, and introduction of solutions to new regional markets.

Frequentis’ Vice President New Business Development, Guenter Graf, noted that with the UTM market growing working in partnership with organisations is key to leveraging growth in this sector. “We are pleased to be discussing the next steps in our collaboration with CAELUM to support the integration of ATM and UTM in Korea,” he said.

Inmarsat offers connectivity solution to unlock rapidly growing UAV industry

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As a world leader in global mobile satellite communications, Inmarsat is launching its advanced new Velaris connectivity solution, which is uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst for the safe and rapid growth of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) industry.

Powered by Inmarsat’s ELERA global satellite network, Velaris will provide secure communications for commercial UAVs to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and seamlessly integrate with aircraft in commercial airspace. It allows operators to send their UAVs on long distance flights and access various applications, such as real-time monitoring, to ensure safe integration with other air traffic. Velaris also allows a single pilot to remotely operate multiple UAVS at scale, making operations more commercially viable.

With the commercial UAV market projected to increase from $2.32 billion in 2021 to $11.29 billion in 2028, the sector will have a far-reaching impact on business and society. UAVs offer multiple benefits in terms of cargo delivery, urban transport and surveillance to emergency services and disaster relief, including the supply of critical items such as medicine, test kits and food for remote communities. As well as unlocking unprecedented new digital automation capabilities within the UAV industry, Velaris will also reduce the overall cost of operations. It will also support the transport of people and goods in an environmentally friendly manner.

“Commercial UAVs have the potential to revolutionise a vast array of different industries throughout the world,” said Anthony Spouncer, Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs and UTM. “However, to truly unlock their potential on a commercial scale, it is imperative that autonomous vehicles and unmanned aviation are safely and securely integrated into managed commercial airspace. That’s exactly what Velaris, as Inmarsat’s first global UAV connectivity solution, will deliver.”

Explaining that Velaris will continue to develop and evolve alongside the UAV industry and Inmarsat’s brand new ORCHESTRA communications network of the future, Spouncer added: “We work with our global partner ecosystem to develop UAV terminals that deliver smaller, more cost effective multi datalink solutions.” These he said, “are optimised for a wide range of use cases so that our customers can always have the highest possible standard of connectivity.” He also noted that the launch of Velaris, so soon after the launch of the company’s ORCHESTRA and ELERA “truly emphasises Inmarsat’s long-term commitment to the commercial UAV market.”

Estonian Air Navigation Services collaborates with Frequentis on Estonian U-space

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Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS) is collaborating with Frequentis to accelerate the rollout of Estonian U-space (unmanned airspace) and allow drones to coexist in shared airspace with civil aviation, by integrating air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned traffic management (UTM) on the same platform.

Hosted in the Frequentis cloud environment, the project delivers a pre-operational system, to allow use cases and business cases to be defined, verified and trialed. In addition the experience Frequentis gained from previous projects, including the SESAR Gulf of Finland (GOF) U-space trials in 2019, has allowed the system to be adapted to the needs of EANS.

“The use of drone-based services is increasing constantly and drone traffic volume in urban air space is one of the biggest challenges we face,” said Jaanus Jakimenko, Head of CNS Department and Member of the EANS Management Board. “To cope with future demand and to continue providing safe airspace operations, we must ensure that all airspace users are aware of each other. It is crucial to have an efficient unmanned traffic management (UTM) system in place that also interacts with manned aircraft operations,” he continued.

He added that the 2019GOF project, which focused on ATM/ UTM integration testing the U-space concept of operations in seven advanced drone trials, provided EANS with the knowledge to quickly support the use of drones for emergency services during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns. “It has also given us the needed assurance of Frequentis technological capabilities and knowledge of their experienced team. We are looking forward to enhancing our airspace operations in line with the growth of drone usage.”

The cloud-based system is provided as a managed service in the Frequentis cloud environment, allowing validation of use cases and business cases as well as UTM/ UAS trials. Furthermore, the cloud architecture enables a fully optimised deployment process, without the need for on-site activities. The current solution will enable EANS to move forward with realising Estonian U-space concept of operations and start implementing technological solutions to provide drones with safe and secure access to the airspace.

“The Frequentis platform allows drone operators to see airspace restrictions and flight rules, file flight plans, and receive updates from air traffic controllers in real time, supporting ANSPs with their goals for increased drone services to support their future tech economy,” said Guenter Graf, VP Frequentis New Business Development.