Kongsberg Geospatial Improves BVLOS Drone Operations Safety with a “Horizonless Air Picture”

Kongsberg Geospatial, developer of the TerraLens Geospatial SDK, uAvionix, creators of the PingStation® Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) transponder, and Aireon, developers of a space-based ADS-B network announced that they will be demonstrating a horizonless air picture to help improve drone operations safety in an upcoming online seminar hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

Kongsberg Geospatial, along with its partners Aireon and uAvionix, will demonstrate how a space-based ADS-B feed can be fused with a ADS-B local receiver to create the world’s first demonstration of a “horizonless air picture” for BVLOS operations. This is important for long-range, BVLOS missions where unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators need to be aware of air traffic and other unmanned systems – both in the mission area, and over the horizon.

This combined sensor picture, integrated and correlated within the Kongsberg geospatial IRIS Airspace Management application, provides for the best of both ADS-B worlds: the local accuracy and update rate from the uAvionix PingStation ADS-B receiver combined with the worldwide coverage of the space-based Aireon ADS-B satellite receiver network.

This integrated and correlated airspace picture provides highly accurate local coverage while eliminating local blind spots caused by terrain or obstacles while providing an over the horizon capability to monitor your own or any other ADS-B emitting aircraft.

“Complete awareness of the air picture in your mission space increasingly requires knowing what’s over the horizon for long range unmanned flights”, explains Paige Cutland, Vice President at Kongsberg Geospatial, and one of the presenters. “By combining local ADS-B transponder data with a space-based feed, we can effectively create a ‘horizonless air picture’ so operators are aware not only of traffic in their immediate area, but what’s in the air beyond the immediate sensor range of their equipment.”

Cyriel Kronenburg, Vice President International Development & Strategic Partnerships at uAvionix will describe how uAvionix’s PingStation2 multi-channel sensors can provide a real-time picture of nearby air traffic – both for commercial aircraft and unmanned systems.

Demetrius Zuidema Manager of Commercial Data Services at Aireon, will be providing information and examples of the near real-time air traffic data available from Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data feed.

The presentation will feature examples and scenarios of how both services can be integrated into a single operating air picture for situational awareness for UAS operators who conduct BVLOS operations.

About Kongsberg Geospatial: Based in Ottawa, Canada, Kongsberg Geospatial (https://kongsberggeospatial.com) creates precision real-time software for air traffic control and UxS and situational awareness. The Company’s products are primarily deployed in solutions for air-traffic control, Command and Control, and air defense. Over nearly three decades of providing dependable performance under extreme conditions, Kongsberg Geospatial has become the leading geospatial technology provider for mission-critical applications where lives are on the line. Kongsberg Geospatial is a subsidiary of Kongsberg Defence Systems.

About Aireon: Aireon operates the first ever, space-based air traffic surveillance system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft throughout the entire globe. Aireon harnesses next-generation aviation surveillance technologies that were formerly ground-based and extends their reach throughout the world to significantly improve efficiency, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide cost savings benefits to all stakeholders. Aireon’s high-fidelity, low-latency surveillance data is available for various applications, allowing aerospace industry partners access to revolutionary data capabilities that enhance asset tracking, aircraft situational awareness and decision support analytical tools. In partnership with leading ANSPs from around the world, like NAV CANADA, Enav, NATS, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon provides global, real-time, space-based aircraft data for enhanced air traffic surveillance, innovation and analytics. For more information, please visit http://www.aireon.com.

About uAvionix: uAvionix (https://uavionix.com) was founded with the mission of bringing safety solutions to the unmanned aviation industry to aid in the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into National Airspace Systems (NAS). uAvionix offers low SWaP TSO-certified and uncertified avionics for General Aviation (GA), Airport Surface Vehicles, and the UAS markets. The team consists of unparalleled engineering and management talent with a unique combination of experience with avionics, surveillance, airport services, UAS aircraft development, radio frequency (RF), and semiconductor industries. uAvionix is backed by investors at Playground Global and Airbus Ventures.

About AUVSI: The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (https://auvsi.org), is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics. AUVSI represents corporations and professionals from more than 60 countries involved in industry, government and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.

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