Frequentis and A1 Partner to Improve Drone Flight Safety

Frequentis has partnered with A1 Telekom Austria to develop a powerful application that will report drone violations to those responsible for public safety.

Drones provide an innovative and cost-effective way to deliver services but the potential for misuse or danger to other airspace users is cause for concern. Rules for compulsory registration and electronic identification are to be introduced in Europe in 2020.

Frequentis has begun trialling, a smart hook-on-device (HoD) for drones, which includes a modem and a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) with a unique identifier. This allows the drone to be recognised and monitored. The smart HoD includes an integrated GPS so the drone’s position and point of departure are recorded.

“The number of drones in the sky per day is set to dramatically surpass the number of passenger flights in the coming decade. Currently, the police and air traffic authorities are unable to identify individual drone users or intervene if a drone deviates from its intended flight path or enters restricted airspace. Creating this application will ensure drones are identifiable and that the police or authorities can get involved when needed,” said Norbert Haslacher, CEO of Frequentis.

“Mobile cellular networks can provide a lot of benefits to the future management of drones. Besides the registration and identification of drones and their owners, they can also track and steer the drone during its flight – even beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Mobile network technology is powerful for reliable, high-speed and real-time transfer of any kind of drone sensor data (payload data). Mobile networks also
have a track record of ensuring privacy and data protection,” said Thomas Arnoldner, CEO of the A1 Telekom Austria Group.

Essential requirements, produced by connectivity specialist Dimetor, have also been considered in the development. These include processing and providing real-time connectivity information for safe drone flight planning and payload data handling, which is based on the mobile network data measured by the HoD. The HoD was successfully tested during a European U-space demonstration.

Thomas Wana, CTO at Dimetor said: “We are excited about this joint initiative. Combining the information gathered from the smart hook-on device with our machine learning algorithms results in most reliable and accurate connectivity data and analysis for flight planning, clearing and in-flight operations. Another important step to make safe  BVLOS drone operation in cellular networks a reality worldwide.”

Frequentis will be attending PMRExpo. You can visit the Frequentis booth at stand D02, hall 10, 26-29 November 2019.

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