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November 24, 2021updated 22 Dec 2021 11:28am

Pioneering UTM Systems by Frequentis

Frequentis' UTM solutions enable the smooth integration of drone technologies into existing ATM systems and ensure high-quality communication and services.

By Elli Karampela

The issue of integrating unmanned traffic management (UTM) within air traffic management systems has been surrounded by questions of safety, security, accessibility, and efficiency both within and outside the controlled airspace. To make the most out of a given airspace and accommodate larger traffic, a combination of manned and unmanned tools using the latest drone technology is needed to facilitate the integration and flow of operability features and data throughout the technologies used.

Frequentis addresses these challenges by taking into consideration the workings of existing ATM systems by Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) according to designated standards, thus considerably reducing and/or eliminating risks associated with safe and efficient air traffic management.

More specifically, Frequentis answers the questions of how drones can be safely operated for this purpose within the airport without endangering people and property. To this end, Frequentis’s solution entails the utilisation of both ATM and UTM that is based on effective communication so that the versatility of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV) can be implemented successfully.

UTM systems, operability and safety

One of the main advantages of UTM systems is their easy integration and operation for all ranges of airspace and altitude, and Frequentis makes the most of this adaptability. The benefits of UTM can be utilised by taking into consideration the regulations and challenges that permeate crossing aerodrome zones, which can be more viable and less fraught with difficulties through efficient and consistent communication between UTM and ATM systems. This convergence and interaction should mainly focus on the safety of the zones and people involved and ensure a high level of automation that enhances air traffic management.

Frequentis employs the benefits of this integration to enhance interoperability, process data connections and enlist new services by leveraging a pioneering system-wide information management (SWIM) that boosts communication, reduces integration costs and enables the introduction of new features to the existing platform, as well as ensures the safety of operation regarding the use of drones in the designated spaces. More specifically, the Frequentis MosaiX SWIM hosts the efficient data exchange between drones and air traffic controllers, which combines with new services and features (including a security solution, built-in registry, data analytics, billing) that better streamline and regulate the information flow across airspace and airport management.

Most importantly, this is a way that Frequentis addresses the problem of increasing UAV traffic, utilising drones to boost performance and operations while working with industry-standard organisations to develop technologies and solutions according to the EASA U – Space regulation. As an innovative leader in the air traffic management sector that moves forward through research and development, Frequentis offers solutions that adapt ATM standards to accommodate UTM regarding secure communication, management and surveillance.

Addressing UAS communication and integration challenges

Voice communication is an integral part of air traffic management and to make UAVs viable in low airspace, so it is essential to incorporate connected air traffic control (ATC) communication between manned and unmanned airspace controllers, namely the pilot in command (PIC) who manages the drone and the air traffic controller. Frequentis’ and Sunhillo’s UAS-Connector (UAS-C) solution is specifically designed to resolve issues such as UAS tracking, spatial awareness, and ATC voice communication by successfully connecting with a UAS Ground Control Station (GCS) for positional data processing relative to these three parameters. The technology’s advanced level of automation makes redundant the need to physically add heavy equipment to UAVs and, therefore, renders the communication process with ATC controllers easier and less complicated, which benefits ANSPs.

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This is one of many examples in which Frequentis foregrounds transformation in the aviation industry through digital technologies such as state-of-the-art UAS to accommodate new services, which include UAV controllers and airlines, within the airport. Prominent projects comprise the provision of UTM systems by Frequentis to Avinor’s air navigation services (ANS) in Norway according to regulatory standards, which is the first one to receive CAA approval for its smooth integration to the ATM system, as well as the Austrian AIRLabs project for testing UAS from research to practise with highly advanced drone technology.

In a fast-paced world where drones are increasingly used within the industry’s infrastructure, Frequentis is a leader in carefully studying, testing and implementing unmanned solutions to promote enhanced communication and integration of these technologies within already existing management systems.

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