The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) will lead the UK Department for Transport’s new research and development project that will lay the ground work for a safe working environment for commercial UAS use in the UK.
The new project aims to explore a future UAS traffic management (UTM) framework that will help the UAS operators to participate in the intelligent control of airspace, in order to enable the safe sharing of airspace with traditional aircraft and beyond line of sight operations of UAS.
For the project, the TSC will collaborate with Altitude Angel, ANRA Technologies, Cranfield University, NATS, Satellite Applications Catapult and Thales UK to develop the requirements and validation methods for a UTM framework. The outputs from the project will be made public via a white paper.
Mark Westwood, chief technology officer of the TSC, said: ‘There is industry-wide consensus that drone technology will be impactful, disrupting the remote sensing, infrastructure inspection, surveillance, emergency response, and transport and logistics sectors over the next decade.
‘To enable the UK to maintain a pre-eminent position in this space, there is a need for a focused initiative to generate a safe operating environment with reduced barriers-to-entry.’