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DClabs

Dronecloud™ research & innovation zone

Dronecloud™ research & innovation zone

Dronecloud™ research & innovation zone

Dronecloud™ research & innovation zone

Dronecloud™ research & innovation zone

Delivering the most transformational projects across the drone technology space

Delivering the most transformational projects across the drone technology space

Delivering the most transformational projects across the drone technology space

Delivering the most transformational projects across the drone technology space.

Delivering the most transformational projects across the drone technology space.

DCLabs is our designated innovation area where we discuss all our ongoing and completed R&D projects.

DCLabs is our designated innovation area where we discuss all our ongoing R&D projects.

Dronecloud is working with a wide range of partners on some of the most transformational projects across the drone technology space. We have several R&D projects in the pipeline or finished, predominantly focussing on steps towards unlocking autonomous BVLOS flights at scale and to integrate UAS flights safely with other aviation in non-segragated airspace. We are working closely with regulators and technology partners to push this area of the industry forwards.

Given the challenge ahead we know that collaboration is paramount so if you are involved in an innovation in the technology space please get in touch, we would love to throw some ideas around!

Developing the systems to manage high-density operations with multiple automated drones under the supervision of fleet operators in the same airspace requires innovation. Dronecloud and our partners are providing the solutions to connected airspace today, addressing real-world commercial demands.

Dronecloud has developed workflows to integrating drone operations, regulators and the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) to track, deconflict and authenticate flight approvals.

Partners

Partners

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Projects

Projects

Project RISE 

Rise Film

Project XCelerate

Search and Rescue Drone – Skybound Rescuer image

Project RISE

Project XCelerate 

PROJECT RISE WAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED IN NOVEMBER 2021; ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS ENABLING THE FUTURE SCALE OF BVLOS AND OTHER FLIGHTS IN NON-SEGREGATED AIRSPACE.

DRONECLOUD IS LEADING A NEW UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION CONSORTIUM TO DELIVER THE INTEGRATION OF SOFTWARE SYSTEMS REQUIRED FOR BVLOS DRONE FLIGHTS

DRONECLOUD IS LEADING A NEW UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION CONSORTIUM TO DELIVER THE INTEGRATION OF SOFTWARE SYSTEMS REQUIRED FOR BVLOS DRONE FLIGHTS

DRONECLOUD IS LEADING A NEW UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION CONSORTIUM TO DELIVER THE INTEGRATION OF SOFTWARE SYSTEMS REQUIRED FOR BVLOS DRONE FLIGHTS

DRONECLOUD IS LEADING A NEW UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION CONSORTIUM TO DELIVER THE INTEGRATION OF SOFTWARE SYSTEMS REQUIRED FOR BVLOS DRONE FLIGHTS

Project RISE was within Phase 2 of the Future Flight Challenge, funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Dronecloud led a consortium composed of key industry partners, including Sky-Drones, Cranfield University, Frequentis and Skyports.

Project RISE was focused on the approvals process and traffic management for flying within airspace controlled by an Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), integrating across a combined stack of independent software and hardware. 

SP Swoop_AB

“Unlocking the future of drone operations through integration.”

“Unlocking the future of drone operations through integration.”

“Unlocking the future of drone operations through integration.”

“Unlocking the future of drone operations through integration.”

“Unlocking the future of drone operations through integration.”

The project outputs allow automated transfers of information and communications between a drone operator and the airspace controller via a Ground Control Station (GCS), Uncrewed Traffic Management Service Provider (UTMSP) and Air Traffic Management (ATM) interface. 

Rise diagram

 

Through integrations between these systems, we can share automatically electronic ID, flight telemetry data, alerts and other communications, with a view to developing full Network Remote ID (Net-RID). This streamlines approval and traffic management, breaking down barriers to scale. At the same time, it readies the software platforms towards participating in all UTM regulatory frameworks, such as the UK’s Open Access UTM Framework and U-Space.

Rather than creating a proprietary closed stack of UTM services within a single platform, RISE demonstrates an open approach to delivering a range of UTM services across multiple integrated platforms in a flexible and inclusive way. Integrations were delivered through open standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), allowing other GCS, drone manufacturers and providers of UTM services to connect in through these integrations. 

Cranfield University completed an analysis of radio link connectivity in a UAS system to highlight the factors which affect connectivity performance needed for BVLOS, together with mitigation plans to improve it.

Project RISE Partners:

Partners in Project Rise:

Rise_logos_new

PROJECT OUTCOMES

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

The project produced a proof of concept for automated integration of systems needed for planning and carrying out BVLOS and other flights in non-segregated controlled airspace, including achieving necessary approvals from airspace controllers. Our example use-case is an airport environment where ATC needs to simultaneously control both drones and traditional air traffic. At the end of the project, we carried out field trials at Cranfield Airport in the UK.

After Project RISE, user accounts and aircraft can be linked between Sky-Drones GCS and Dronecloud, feeding electronic ID and telemetry data from Sky-Drones to Dronecloud. If a flight is planned within an area requiring approval via Frequentis' smartSIS, flight plans are sent automatically by Dronecloud to smartSIS for approval. Approval status and alerts are tracked and displayed to the Dronecloud operator. Flights can be seen and tracked in Dronecloud’s Live View, with a message centre and interactive buttons to allow a pilot or flight operations coordinator to carry out two-way integrated communication with the relevant ANSP. All significant events and communications are logged.

Project Rise aims to integrate evolving Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), the drone version of Air Traffic Control (ATM), with the control systems onboard drones. It will then form part of a Centralised Command and Control Solution, based on the existing Dronecloud Software as a service (SaaS) platform. The project is part of an overall effort across the drone industry to integrate disparate systems at scale, to achieve safer, more reliable and auditable drone flights, even beyond the line of sight.

Project Rise aims to integrate evolving Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), the drone version of Air Traffic Control (ATM), with the control systems onboard drones. It will then form part of a Centralised Command and Control Solution, based on the existing Dronecloud Software as a service (SaaS) platform. The project is part of an overall effort across the drone industry to integrate disparate systems at scale, to achieve safer, more reliable and auditable drone flights, even beyond the line of sight.

Project Rise aims to integrate evolving Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), the drone version of Air Traffic Control (ATM), with the control systems onboard drones. It will then form part of a Centralised Command and Control Solution, based on the existing Dronecloud Software as a service (SaaS) platform. The project is part of an overall effort across the drone industry to integrate disparate systems at scale, to achieve safer, more reliable and auditable drone flights, even beyond the line of sight.

Project Rise aims to integrate evolving Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), the drone version of Air Traffic Control (ATM), with the control systems onboard drones. It will then form part of a Centralised Command and Control Solution, based on the existing Dronecloud Software as a service (SaaS) platform. The project is part of an overall effort across the drone industry to integrate disparate systems at scale, to achieve safer, more reliable and auditable drone flights, even beyond the line of sight.

Dronecloud Live View lr

FIELD TRIALS

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

WHAT IS PROJECT RISE?

Multiple scenarios were tested successfully, some with more than one drone in the air at the same time. Multi-rotor and fixed-wing aircraft were used.

EXAMPLE SCENARIO - TWO AIRCRAFT IN AIR, ONE NON-CONFORMING, FOLLOWED BY AN AIRSPACE EMERGENCY

An inspection flight and a delivery flight were separately planned in Dronecloud for two aircraft to fly at the same time but not spatially overlapping. Dronecloud automatically sent flight plans to smartSIS for approval. ATC were happy with both flights and approved them in smartSIS. Both pilots could see in Dronecloud that their flights were approved, and so requested take-off. ATC approved take-off for both in smartSIS, and the flights commenced.

1. During flight, the inspection flight left its approved boundary. This potentially caused a hazard to the delivery aircraft. 

2. smartSIS detected non-conformance and automatically sent an alert to the inspection pilot. ATC sent an alert to the delivery pilot from smartSIS to Dronecloud, asking to loiter in place.

3. ATC could see in smartSIS when the inspection flight acknowledged and returned to its flight plan. ATC sent a new message to the delivery pilot from smartSIS to Dronecloud to confirm now safe to proceed. Both flights proceeded with their plans.

4. A crewed aircraft requested from ATC an emergency landing. ATC pushed a button in smartSIS that set an area-wide No Drone Zone (NDZ) and automatically sent an alert to all drone pilots in Dronecloud to land immediately. Both drone pilots acknowledged and landed their aircraft.

5. The crewed aircraft was able to land safely in clear airspace. 

In February 2020 the UK government launched the Future Flight Challenge. The challenge focuses on the development of the digital and physical infrastructure, regulation and control systems required to enable the industry to realise its true potential.
The Future Flight programme is funded by £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is expected to be matched by up to £175 million from industry.
This challenge aims to revolutionise the way people, goods and services fly and position the UK as a world leader in future aviation.

In February 2020 the UK government launched the Future Flight Challenge. The challenge focuses on the development of the digital and physical infrastructure, regulation and control systems required to enable the industry to realise its true potential.
The Future Flight programme is funded by £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is expected to be matched by up to £175 million from industry.
This challenge aims to revolutionise the way people, goods and services fly and position the UK as a world leader in future aviation.

In February 2020 the UK government launched the Future Flight Challenge. The challenge focuses on the development of the digital and physical infrastructure, regulation and control systems required to enable the industry to realise its true potential.
The Future Flight programme is funded by £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is expected to be matched by up to £175 million from industry.
This challenge aims to revolutionise the way people, goods and services fly and position the UK as a world leader in future aviation.

Rise Scenario Diagram

Jan Domaradzki (CEO, Dronecloud): “Project RISE is a genuine step forward for the industry as a whole and brings us closer to integrating crewed and uncrewed traffic in controlled airspace, and in doing so, a step also towards unlocking the potential of scalable BVLOS and autonomy. We’re incredibly proud to have worked with such a strong team to deliver Project RISE.” 

Kirill Shilov (Founder & CEO, Sky-Drones):  “Sky-Drones has focussed on the UAV hardware and software being used throughout project RISE. Our technology allows us to fly drones beyond visual line of sight from anywhere in the world, plan complex missions and record the flight data with comprehensive post-flight analytics.”

 

Dr Saba Al-Rubaye, Reader in Autonomous and Connected Systems, Cranfield University: “Cranfield is leading hardware system integration to address current and future challenge of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) communications. We were delighted to support Project RISE in the field trials by providing Airport facilities and conducting analysis of different communication scenarios to guarantee high quality of services (QoS) for drone safety.”

Alastair Skitmore (Flight Operations Lead, Skyports): “It’s fantastic to be able to interface and connect with air traffic control (ATC) without having to be in constant, two-way voice communication. The Dronecloud software allows us to seamlessly connect with ATC as and when required. This not only streamlines the communication but reduces workload too.”

Joachim Edel (New Business Development Manager, Frequentis): “RISE is a considerable project showcasing the automated interaction between drone operators and Air Traffic Control. Thereby, it provides a technical scenario for future interaction and coordination in the airspaces above UK. As Frequentis, we are happy that we could contribute to this project bringing in our proven products and experience from several funded and commercial projects in the UTM sector.“

Project XCelerate

Project XCelerate 

Drone in use

Dronecloud is proud to be a partner of a BT (British Telecom) led consortium to deliver Project XCellerate in the ‘FUTURE FLIGHT’ DRONES Project to revolutionise airspace.

BT has taken a significant leap into the commercial drones market, as the company announced the formation of a new consortium to deliver a series of industry use cases across the UK’s first commercial drone corridor. BT,  together with Altitude Angel and a number of UK tech start-ups, have been selected by UK Research and Innovation to deliver “Project XCelerate” – a key Future Flight Challenge project which will establish the UK’s first commercial drone corridor in open and unrestricted airspace, located south of Reading, Berkshire.

Dronecloud are joining BT and Altitude Angel as part of the consortium as well as drone technology experts from HeroTech8 and Skyports; cyber security provider Angoka; and end user experts SkyBound Rescuer and DroneStream.

“From improved mobility, connectivity, healthcare and manufacturing output, to reduced road congestion and pollution, automated drone technology will transform the quality of our lives."

“From improved mobility, connectivity, healthcare and manufacturing output, to reduced road congestion and pollution, automated drone technology will transform the quality of our lives."

“From improved mobility, connectivity, healthcare and manufacturing output, to reduced road congestion and pollution, automated drone technology will transform the quality of our lives."

“From improved mobility, connectivity, healthcare and manufacturing output, to reduced road congestion and pollution, automated drone technology will transform the quality of our lives."

“From improved mobility, connectivity, healthcare and manufacturing output, to reduced road congestion and pollution, automated drone technology will transform the quality of our lives."

Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT’s Enterprise unit

Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT’s Enterprise unit

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In summer 2021, the project will conduct flight trials along the 8km-long corridor to demonstrate how drones can operate safely in the same airspace as manned aviation. The consortium will demonstrate key industry use cases across healthcare, emergency services and infrastructure to illustrate how drone deliveries and inspection can bring countless benefits to businesses, the public sector and UK citizens.  

The key use cases which will be explored by the consortium include using drones to assist the emergency services, for example during road traffic collisions and search and rescue missions. Using 3D mapping techniques, drones can be used for forensics purposes to aid the police when responding to road traffic collisions and can also help to locate missing persons during search and rescue missions. Project XCelerate will prove how drone technology can be used to speed up response times for such incidents, helping the emergency services to improve the chances of survival, whilst also reducing costs. 

Search and Rescue Drone – Skybound Rescuer image

The project will also demonstrate how automated drones can reduce the lead times for urgently needed medical deliveries, helping the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors to improve standards of patient care. A further use case is key infrastructure inspection, where drones can be used to help assess damage or maintenance required for critical national infrastructure for the utilities, telecoms and transport sectors. 

BT will combine its experience with Altitude Angel’s leading experience in Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platforms, together with its operation of the Arrow Drone Zone commercial drone corridor. UTM is a key enabler to address the safe and efficient integration of unmanned vehicles into airspace. Project XCelerate will combine a network of existing and new technologies underpinned by Altitude Angel's proven UTM platform, incorporating existing air traffic management and communications systems and augmented by new technology, such as 5G.

Project XCelerate aims to widen the use of UTM systems by providing a framework which towns, cities, organisations and networks can follow in order to ‘open up’ portions of the sky. The project consortium is powerfully placed to realise the world's first live commercial automated BVLOS flight zone in which any compatible vehicle can connect into and fly within safely.

 

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