First drone ATM-UTM-integrated flight

First drone ATM-UTM-integrated flight

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

A drone logistics company PABLO AIR, a member of the Born2Global Centre, has successfully demonstrated a 75 km maritime flight by integrating Ground Control System (GCS) as well as unmanned traffic management (UTM) and the Air Traffic Management (ATM) at the K-UAM Confex demonstration event, recently held at Incheon International Airport and Yeongjong Paradise City Hotel. PABLO AIR is also cooperating with Incheon International Airport Corporation through the K-drone system demonstration project of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.

The drone took off from Songdo, Incheon, circled Jawoldo Island, about 30 km away, flying a 75 km round trip to return to the opening ceremony. The drone transmitted and received data using an LTE RF modem. However, the drone maintained a stable connection with the control system during flight using triple redundant communications technology, including satellite communication, even in maritime and island areas outside LTE coverage.

PAMNet, a real-time control system for unmanned mobility operations, was also involved in the integration of Incheon International Airport Corporation’s monitoring system ARTS and K-drone system’s UTM to monitor the pilot flight of UAM aircraft (Germany) held at the same time. The single-seater drone taxi (500 kg in weight), was equipped with a UTM and flew in the sky for about 10 minutes. It proved PAMNet’s practical capability of monitoring UAM aircraft and drones, as well as  compatibility with the manned aircraft ATM monitoring system.

This technology guarantees safe flight of various civilian aircrafts such as manned helicopters flying at low altitude through integration with the Aviation Information Service (AIS) and is also laying the foundation for collaboration with maritime and ground mobility through integration with Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). Furthermore, it is expected to contribute to safe military operations by sharing related data with the Central Air Defense Control Center (MCRC)

PAMNet is a real-time control system without location and time limitations for unmanned mobility operations of drones, ground robots, and cars. It has already been recognized for innovation by winning the AUVSI (The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) XCELLENCE Award 2021.

The K-UAM Confex is hosted by Incheon City and co-hosted by the Incheon Tourism Organization, Incheon International Airport Corporation, Incheon Industry-Academic Convergence Institute, and the Korea Automobile Research Association. It is scheduled for two days from the 16th to the 17th, providing venues for about 100 companies leading the UAM industry to operate booths for global and corporate cooperations for the urban transportation revolution and urban air transportation.

CEO Kim Young-Joon said, “75 km flight success and integration of GCS and UTM shows that it could integrate with the UAM traffic management system (UATM), which will soon be revealed. He also said, “We have taken another step toward commercialization of delivery using unmanned mobility and innovation of integrated control systems.”

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