German aircraft manufacturer Volocopter has teamed up with Microsoft to develop a Cloud-based system on Microsoft Azure for urban air mobility (UAM) operations.

The strategic collaboration is expected to help provide the data management requirements for advanced air mobility applications, including the operation of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Volocopter said the Microsoft Cloud / Azure platform would support its VoloIQ digital platform as well as the transition to autonomous operations. 

The German firm plans to make the VoloIQ platform its standard UAM operating system for electric passenger and drone flight operations.

Microsoft’s Azure will help in securely interconnecting Volocopter’s UAM ecosystem elements into a single integrated set of services.

Volocopter chief digital officer Alexander Oelling said: “Having Microsoft on board as a project partner and investor is proof that the solutions Volocopter creates – like the VoloIQ – are pioneering and hold remarkable market potential.

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“We’re proud that Microsoft Azure is the one to provide a secure Cloud and thus to ensure safety remains at the forefront of our operations.”

Volocopter and Microsoft will initially ensure Microsoft Azure meets the needs of the VoloIQ platform for commercial operations.

Subsequently, Azure will enable the flight and service support of VoloIQ in real-time for Volocopter’s eVTOL aircraft, namely VoloCity, VoloDrone and VoloConnect, as well as the VoloPort ground infrastructure.

Microsoft Cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) CVP Uli Homann said: “From the newest technologies to regulation, creating solutions to seamlessly address the Cloud computing requirements for supporting continued advancements in aviation is a complex endeavour. We certainly see the potential a secure, robust and efficient Cloud platform could offer aerospace and UAM operators.

“Working in collaboration with Volocopter, we will start to build the foundation for a commercial model for aerospace Cloud.”