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Altitude Angel leads consortium for ‘future flight’ drones project

Altitude Angel has announced that it will work with entertainment company BT to create a consortium for the ‘future flight’ drones project. The partnership will see a wide range of drone use cases being explored in preparation for the UK’s first commercial drone corridor.

In the summer of 2021, the project will begin its first test flights along an 8 km flight corridor to demonstrate how drones can fly safely alongside human-crewed aircraft.

The consortium will be focusing on the healthcare, emergency, and infrastructure sectors to show how drone deliveries and inspections can bring large amounts of value to a company.

The two companies will also be working with Dronecloud, HeroTech8, Skysports, Angoka SkyBound Rescuer, and DroneStream.

Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT’s Enterprise unit, said:

“As drone numbers continue to rise, there is an urgent need to safely integrate commercial drones into global airspace alongside manned aviation. In showing how drones can deliver improved, potentially life-saving services to the public, we’re aiming to accelerate the adoption of fully automated drones in unrestricted UK airspace in a safe and responsible way.”

The drones will also demonstrate how they can shorten lead times when responding to an emergency or arriving on the scene. The drones will also continue to demonstrate deliveries and inspections as these two areas are some of the best at taking advantage of the feature set drones have to offer.

The drones will always be connected to the internet with the help of BT’s EE mobile network and will keep safe in the sky with Altitude Angel’s UTM platform. This will allow for safe flight in the Arrow Drone Zone announced earlier in the year.

Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, CEO and founder followed with:

“Project XCelerate is bringing together experts and world leaders in their respective fields, something we’re very proud and excited to be a part of. Our Arrow technology is truly ground-breaking and the key enabler to the project and we’re pleased to be deploying it for maximum benefit in the UK first.”

About Altitude Angel

The news comes after Altitude Angel announced its Drone Zone, which will be around 8 kilometers (5 miles) in length and 500 meters (0.3 miles) wide with enhanced detect-and-avoid capabilities. The drone zone will be operated and managed by Altitude Angel. It can support fully automated drone flights beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) from any drone manufacturer that complies with a few technical integrations without the need for specialist hardware.

The company also announced a partnership with Sky-Drones that allows its unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform, Pop-Up UTM, to be quickly set up when and where required, removing the need for building ground-based infrastructure. A few months ago, Altitude Angel welcomed its first partner to the program, Spark Mobility, and later added Sugu Drones.

The system will specifically be deployed where a beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone flight is taking place and removes the need for infrastructure on the ground to be built. Pop-Up UTM also utilizes Inmarsat’s global network of satellites, meaning the system can be deployed worldwide.

GuardianUTM allows software developers and drone manufacturers to access tools and data that are accurate, up-to-date, and relevant to better understand active and past drone missions. The platform helps drone pilots follow local flight rules and avoid mid-air collisions with a dynamic alert system. GuardianUTM also includes data from local air authorities such as altitude restrictions, No-Fly Zones, and NOTAMs to ensure the operation is as safe as possible.

Photo: Altitude Angel



Avatar for Josh Spires Josh Spires

Josh started in the drone community in 2012 with a drone news Twitter account. Over the years Josh has gained mass exposure from his aerial photography work and spends his days writing drone content for DroneDJ as well as pursuing his business.