First drone ATM-UTM-integrated flight

November 25, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
First drone ATM-UTM-integrated flight
Drone connectivity maintained via an LTE RF modem and satellite communications remained stable even in maritime and island areas outside LTE coverage.

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)


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