A drone tracking solution envisioned to provide airspace safety authorities with situational awareness of manned and unmanned aircraft operations within an airspace system is under development.
Global airspace management platform AirMap and American multinational Honeywell are behind the initiative.
According to the partners, the hardware device in the making will allow unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, to maintain consistent communication with a UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system.
UTM is a digital air traffic management system made up of technologies and services designed to maintain safe integration and separation of drones and other aircraft and objects in low-altitude airspace.
The drone-tracking solution co-developed by AirMap and Honeywell will support multiple communication options, including 4G and satellite in areas without 4G coverage, for the broadcast of real-time drone telemetry feeds to a UTM system.
“The AirMap UTM Platform is designed to provide a real-time operating picture of the airspace for both manned and unmanned aircraft,” said Ben Marcus, AirMap Chairman and Co-founder, in a news release.
The platform ingests telemetry feeds from a variety of hardware and software based solutions for visualization, monitoring, and deconfliction by air navigation service providers (ANSP) and other relevant authorities, he said.
Honeywell, which manufactures technologies around energy, safety, security, productivity, and global urbanization, is an investor in AirMap and uses AirMap’s application programming interfaces (API) for industrial customers.
Data from Research and Markets shows that the global drone service market accounted for US$ 629.2 million in 2018, and is projected to grow at a compound growth rate (CAGR) of 51.1 percent over the forecast period 2019-2027, to reach US$ 24,882.2 million in 2027.
Adoption aerial drones may not be as widespread for now, but a Forbes article predicts that it “will grow in select industries like agriculture, construction, insurance, mining and aggregates, public safety and first responders, oil & gas, survey engineering, telecommunications and utilities.”
AirMap’s airspace intelligence and services to fly safely and communicate in low-altitude airspace are available in over 25 countries, including Japan, Switzerland, the United States.
In Asia, AirMap partnered with Rakuten in March 2017 to bring unmanned traffic management to Japan. The solution, Rakuten AirMap, was first deployed in Chiba City, which has been designated as a National Strategic Special Zone for developing delivery drones.
AirMap said the tracking device it is co-developing with Honeywell is available today as a proof of concept for testing.