Altitude Angel joins consortiums for UK, EU Urban Air Mobility
It has been a busy day for the folks at Altitude Angel.
Not only has the UK-based Unmanned Traffic Management solutions provider joined another consortium to expedite the arrival of drone traffic in the UK cities, but they have also announced that they will be part of a European Union venture that is working to achieve the same goal in the union.
According to project organisers, SESAR, the Air Mobility Urban – Large Experimental Demonstrations (AMU-LED) programme is a €2million EU Horizon 2020-funded enterprise that will research on ways to achieve safe, sustainable, socially accepted and socially beneficial urban air mobility.
It is scheduled to run of the next two years, having commenced in December last year.
“Five unmanned UAV platforms (passenger electronic Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL), hydrogen fuel cell VTOL, battery tiltwing VTOL, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) drone, X8 medical transport) will be combined with manned aviation in real life exercises validating technology in real urban environment,” the project website says. “Technologies of all partners will be leveraged to make use of the maximum number of U-space services towards the highest possible operational safety level, including advanced detect and avoid U-space service.
“The demonstrations will take place in the cities of Antwerp, Aachen and Heerlen, leveraging the Maastricht, Aachen, Hasselt, Heerlen and Liège (MAHHL) trans-border region, following a full de-risking exercise at the DronePort BVLOS test-facility in Sint-Truiden, Belgium.”
Before Altitude Angel joined, the initial group had sixteen companies that include Airbus, AirHub, ANRA Technologies, Boeing Research and Technology-Europe, FADA-CATEC, Cranfield University, EHang, ENAIRE, Gemeente Amsterdam, INECO, ITG, Jeppesen, NLR, Space53 and Tecnalia.
Says Altitude Angel; “The exercises planned within AMU-LED include more than 100 flight hours combining different unmanned aerial systems and considering various scenarios, use cases and applications. These will consist of air taxi operations, cargo transport, delivery of goods and medical equipment, inspection of infrastructures, police surveillance, and emergency services support.
Through real tests and simulations, the project will explore and demonstrate how to decongest roads, improve transportation of people and goods, reduce travel times, increase flexibility, cut pollution, and reduce traffic accidents.”
AMU-LED is an H2020 project of the European Commission framed in the SESAR program (Single European Sky ATM Research). SESAR aims to ensure air traffic management modernisation in Europe, where urban air mobility (UAM) is a key element. It requires creating new concepts and regulations to design, structure, and industrialise a sustainable and interoperable system within current air traffic.
Meanwhile in the UK, having already been part of another consortium that is working on bring the first ever drone corridor in the world to life in Reading, Berkshire in South East England, Altitude Angel has also announced that it made the cut among eight other organisations for the Airspace of the Future (AoF) Consortium, a project that will pool expertise and experience across the UK to ensure routine, operational drone services can be carried out safely.
Comprising Altitude Angel, Thales, Cranfield University, Cranfield Airport Operations, Inmarsat, Ocado Group, Blue Bear, Satellite Applications Catapult, and Connected Places Catapult, the group will work to integrate quieter, more efficient, and environmentally aircraft within the transport infrastructure, ensuring aircraft can fly to and from a cost-effective network of small operating bases. which comprises.
Chief among the new air traffic integration, which the consortium aim at spread all over the country, will be drone services.
The group will also develop the supporting ground infrastructure, regulation and control systems required to use these new aircraft practically and safely, whilst the value of a mixed-use airspace will be demonstrated through innovative simulation and real-world applications.
Richard Ellis, Altitude Angel, Chief Business Officer, said of the latest development; “The Future Flight Challenge (the UK Research Institute Fund that supports the development of new technologies in the UK, including freight-carrying drones, urban air vehicles, and hybrid-electric regional aircraft) will enable UK businesses to demonstrate their world-leading technology across the unmanned aerial ecosystem. The potential of drones and unmanned vehicles is immense, with new and innovative use cases being presented on an almost daily basis. With our partners in Future Flight, we can bring about real and fundamental change in the way goods and services are delivered and presented not just in the UK, but throughout the world.”
French conglomerate Thales – a multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets, expressed its excitement at being part of the group.
“We are pleased to be leading the Airspace of the Future Consortium, which will continue to drive innovation in the booming UTM market by applying new technologies to develop support ground infrastructure and air control systems,” said Thales UK CEO Alex Cresswell. “By utilising expertise from some of the UK’s most pioneering technology and transport organisations, the consortium will help deliver new, more environmentally conscious ways of providing air services for tasks such as inspection, surveying, and the delivery of goods by drones. We are excited for the Consortium to be part of the UK government’s ambition to lead from the front on the world stage to tackle the climate crisis.”