Frequentis, Dimetor Partner on Technology for BVLOS Drone Operations
Tuesday, October 01, 2019 | Comments

Beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) unmanned aerial system (UAS) operations are key for future commercial use cases, including public safety, industrial inspection and urban air mobility. Frequentis has partnered with mobile network connectivity specialist and start-up, Dimetor, to enable network connectivity for command and control (C2) and payload data links to ensure reliable and consistent data sharing.

The initial introduction of UAS to the airspace has been limited to visual-line-of-sight (VLOS) operations. To extend commercial drone applications, BVLOS operations are essential for governmental entities as well as commercial deployments and many countries are now amending their drone policies to allow such flights. This requires accurate, dynamic, and reliable telecommunications data, and it is important to have this information from a single source.

So far, the use of network connectivity and associated data have not been standardized for pre-flight assessment or regulated for operational use. However, recent drone trials in Finland and Estonia for the Gulf of Finland (GOF) U-space project uncovered this requirement and need for connectivity to enable consistent data sharing between the UAS and the UAS traffic management (UTM) system.

The connectivity platform from Dimetor, AirborneRF, is deployed at the operational data centers of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), processing highly confidential network data to ensure cellular connectivity for UAS operations. Flight planning tools like Frequentis’ CADAS-ATS and other U-space services can use the constraints in the pre-tactical/tactical phase of a BVLOS drone flight and either approve or reject the proposed flight plan.

AirborneRF can also be used to demonstrate network capabilities to airspace regulators and UAS service providers. The partnership between Frequentis and Dimetor then enables the MNOs to seamlessly integrate the connectivity information into the aeronautical information management database (AIMdb) and thus to become an integral part of the developing ecosystem for commercial BVLOS drone operations.

“By partnering with Dimetor, we can further explore and advance our work in the field of ATM and UTM,” said Hannu Juurakoo, chairman of Frequentis’ air traffic management (ATM) executive team. “Through this cooperation, we will exchange our knowledge and experiences and work together to strengthen and develop the future airspace ecosystem, enabling the provision of critical data for safe BVLOS drone flights. This partnership is a significant step towards enabling our customers to keep pace with the additional growth by minimizing operating costs.”

The agreement between Frequentis and Dimetor highlights the companies’ unified commitments to providing safety-critical services ensuring the highest quality and safety for BVLOS and highly automated drone operations based on connectivity information.

“At Dimetor we are delighted to be partnering with Frequentis,” said Thomas Wana, Dimetor co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO). “This will enable an integrated solution bringing together the 3D cellular connectivity information for safe BVLOS operations with aeronautical information management (AIM) and UTM/ATM systems — on a global scale.”

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