Milestone Achieved: Advanced Drone Team Soars to New Heights, Achieving Industry First in Prominent Canadian Urban Center

IN-FLIGHT Data, one of the most experienced operators in the world of advanced drones, in partnership with remote traffic management software leader AirMatrix, in an encore performance to last year’s ground-breaking UTM project, the duo successfully conducted one of the world’s first urban signals mapping operation, at almost 1,000 feet above the ground, beyond the line of sight of the pilot, and over urban neighborhood populations.

This was yet another successful “SAIL 4” mission for the team at IN-FLIGHT Data. “SAIL” refers to the
regulator’s combined complexity of a drone mission, from 1 (low) to 6 (high). No other project of this
level and scale is known to have ever been completed in the world.

Since Phase 1 of the project in 2022, IN-FLIGHT Data and AirMatrix have been testing, training and preparing to conduct a much larger advanced RF survey in Calgary. Completed in partnership with The
City’s Smart City Living Labs Program, The City’s aim is to offer access to City assets for companies,
researchers and individuals to test and try ideas and products in a real-life environment, helping
entrepreneurs bring big ideas to fruition and supporting investment in the local economy.

Phase 2 of the project flew for 660 km entirely inside the City of Calgary, with a population of about 1.4
million people, under approved SFOC. Most times, the aircraft was over 2 km away from the pilot while
performing the high aerial survey. Utilizing a highly-trained air crew working with advanced and certified
drones and the latest in aerial surveillance technologies, including hardware and software, the purpose
of the aerial intelligence gathering was to scale-up the measurement and assessment of the entire
communications network fabric above Calgary, including geolocation, cellular, radio and many others.

This understanding of urban radio network performance is required to support future advancements in
aviation. For example, the FAA in the USA recently announced the approval of flying taxis by 2028. This
project supports the development and growth of these technological advancements in transportation
and mobility, including aircraft such as Uber, Archer or Joby.

Telecommunications companies, governments, regulators, airspace navigation service providers, and
industry are all needed to understand how high-performance drone aircraft will safely navigate and
communicate in the air above population centers. Think of it like when the Canada Railway was built in
the 1800’s – someone came before the rail lines to survey the route, level the land for the rail ties and
dig tunnels through mountains. That’s what this project achieved at-scale – successfully 3D mapping
the urban network fabric to understand and assess how future aircraft and infrastructure can take
advantage of these new high-performance networks to deliver future innovation to the cities and their
citizens.

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