Drones have started taking over the skies and soon will start crowding airspace above your apartment. This gives rise to the need for drone traffic management system. Besides delivering packages and inspecting high rise buildings, higher-flying autonomous aircraft will be executing tasks like monitoring air quality, mapping floods, gathering information, and maybe even carrying passengers on quick trips as air taxis.
Around the world today, aircraft are guided around the skies by the air traffic controller. Each controller is responsible for a specific area of expertise, keeping the aircraft safe by talking directly with pilots using radio communications. Reports show that the majority of commercial air traffic is already surpassing the capacity of a human-centered system. To handle this excessive growth a digital system is required that can monitor and manage this increased activity. That system is called Unmanned Traffic Management or UTM.
Some of the major applications of drones have already begun, but require special permission from regulators. The policy details are not yet determined that lets everyone to fly drones while maintaining safe airspace. The idea is to operate drones like other manned aircraft according to existing rules in the air traffic management system, but this will require additional technical specifications regarding the kinds of sensors and communications the drones will have.
What Does UTM Do
Unmanned traffic management is a system that includes software, vehicle technologies, personnel, rules, and other elements includes-
- Provides information to the aircraft, drone operators and organizations coordinating the information. This includes notifications about airspace status such as weather alerts and details about other flights in the area.
- Allows the same users to exchange data with each other, the Federal aviation authority and public safety entities.
- Unmanned traffic management allows drone operators to submit flight plans to carry out a specific mission in low-altitude airspace.
- Determines how to safely enable single or multiple drone operations, either within visual line of sight of the pilot or beyond visual line of sight.
Architecture for drone traffic management
The drone traffic management system controls drone flight permissions and drone flight conflicts. It is accountable for coordinating with manned aircraft and its air traffic control systems, as well as for assuring compliance with low-altitude airspace restrictions. It can provide information to the drone traffic management system to aid decision making. Drone operators can connect to the drone traffic management system to seek flight permissions and can systematically report the status of drone flights. This can be facilitated by providing telemetry reports to aid the drone traffic management system in keeping the updated status of the airspace.
Status of UTM today
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA, and other federal partner agencies are collaborating to explore concepts of operation, data exchange requirements, and a supporting structure to enable multiple beyond visual line-of-sight drone operations at low altitudes (under 400 feet above ground level (AGL) in airspace where FAA air traffic services are not provided. Research and testing will identify airspace operations requirements to enable safe visual and beyond visual line-of-sight drone flights in low-altitude airspace.
DGCA has already initiated conducting trial beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations of remotely piloted aircraft in India. It will revolutionize the future possibilities for small and medium business owners.
We at Jungleworks have already started to build drones according to the specifications specified by DGCA. We already have our prototypes ready and working with our industrial grade drones to fulfill specific customer needs.
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