Aerialtronics condemns dangerous use of UAV

Fly responsibly



Aerialtronics condemns dangerous use of UAV and asks drone pilots to “fly responsibly”

Aerialtronics pushes forward the agenda of safe flight operations for small commercial UAVs and RPAS, developing a novel Collision Avoidance System (CAS), while implementing its Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and “virtual fence” technology as well as adhering to the “Know Before You Fly Drones” campaign.

Two days ago, a small UAV flew dangerously over the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul contravening all safety regulations and putting lives at risk.

This event follows a series of near misses involving small UAVs, or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), flying close to commercial aircraft. In the USA, 25 cases have been registered in only a few months, while in Europe, a small consumer drone flew within 20ft of a 180-seat Airbus A320 as it landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.

At Aerialtronics we condemn such behaviour that puts lives at stake, damages the public image of unmanned aerial operations and frustrates the collective efforts of leading manufacturers and operators aiming at safe UAV operation as well as reinforcing the image of UAS as a beneficial innovation for the public. That’s why we say to everyone at the controls of a RPAS: fly responsibly.

Expressing with strength our credo regarding corporate social responsibility applied to unmanned aerial operations, is not the only thing we do at Aerialtronics. We translate our philosophy into leading technical innovation and best practices to provide effective solutions to reduce the dangers related to human error with unmanned flight operations.

This is why Aerialtronics has set itself ahead of the market by developing a new advance system that can lower the risk of pilot error with its Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and the Collision Avoidance System (CAS) on their Altura unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The ITS was initially created by NXP in cooperation with the automotive industry to aid communication between vehicles, systems and key infrastructures. This technology provides a “virtual sensor”, which allows a vehicle to communicate with other vehicles (by means of the Cooperative Awareness Messages — CAM) as well as infrastructures (by means of the Distributed Environmental Notification Message — DENM).

The CAM vehicle-to-vehicle communication prevents UAVs from crashing into others, while the DENM vehicle-to-structure messaging anticipates a closed or crowded airspace. Put together, these systems allow UAVs to build a “mental map” of the surrounding traffic and fixed obstacles, preventing collisions and improving safety.

Aerialtronics and NXP have worked side-by-side on implementing the Intelligent Transport System on the Altura UAVs, resulting in the new Collision Avoidance System (CAS). The CAS allows quick real-time scanning of the Altura multirotor surroundings, detecting and tracking all obstacles within a safe distance. Following detection and classification of the obstacle, the CAS will automatically adjust the drone’s position to prevent a collision. By connecting ITS data to CAS, Altura UAVs will be capable of foreseeing danger and, ultimately, making airspace safer and more accessible. The system is expected to be operational this year.

The most important advantage of Aerialtronics’ CAS in respect to its rivals is that it can prevent UAS from impacting static structures as well as moving objects, enabling fully autonomous yet safe inspections even in strong wind conditions typical when performing industrial inspections.

Besides developing the CAS-ITS, Aerialtronics implements the “virtual fence” technology on its Altura multicopters, again with the aim of reducing risks due to pilot error or negligence. Air safety regulations for small UAVs indicate that a drone cannot fly further than 500m from the pilot (or control station) and higher than 120m from the ground. The “virtual fence” keeps an unmanned flying vehicle within this envelope, regardless of pilot action.

This array of technologies not only increases safety but also reduces the chance for the operator of incurring in financial losses due to vehicle crashing, damage to third parties and fines, also lowering insurance costs.

More information about Aerialtronics development activities concerning the ITS-CAS can be found in a previous press release.

Yet, it is not only by using technology, which reduces the relevance of the human factor (reckless, negligence and ignorance) that Aerialtronics aims to improve safety in UAV operations. In fact, we believe that the human factor itself needs to be addressed by improving the skills and awareness of drone pilots. This is why we have adhered to the “Know Before You Fly Drones” campaign (http://knowbeforeyoufly.org), which provides prospective operators with the information and guidance they need to fly drones safely and responsibly and have announced plans to set up a drone test centre to maintain safety and research standards.

More information about Aerialtronics participation to the “Know Before You Fly Drones” can be found in a previous press release.

About Aerialtronics

Aerialtronics is a leading international manufacturer of state of the art, high quality unmanned aircraft systems for civilian purposes. The company sells multirotor Alturas for a wide variety of applications in numerous countries worldwide. Aerialtronics’ systems are designed and developed in-house according to aviation grade quality standards making the Altura systems consistently reliable as well as stable. Aerialtronics defines the future of unmanned aircraft systems!


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