In this year-end recap, ANRA Technologies has curated the most significant product launches, partnership announcements, project initiatives and industry activities that support our mission to provide end-to-end operations and traffic management solutions for unmanned system operators and airspace managers. The ANRA software factory had a busy 2021, here are our top 5 stories.
New Product Launches
Three new software products under our SmartSkies portfolio were launched and deployed.
First was SmartSkies DELIVERY, a new hardware agnostic platform that enables end to end drone deliveries by managing orders, inventory, and provisioning products – then safely operates the drone within the ANRA UTM network. DELIVERY incorporates our airspace management technology to enable a safe transit for the drone while providing tracking and status updates to the customer on our mobile app. It connects all the necessary stakeholders by providing the necessary information and data exchanges for compliant and efficient delivery operations.
Next was SmartSkies SORA, a fully integrated specified operations risk assessment capability that enables pilots to perform a risk assessment for operations in the ‘specific’ category per European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations. SmartSkies SORA software helps the pilot to assess if an operation can be safely conducted by answering a series of easy-to-follow questions about the flight. Our SORA software will help develop the safety case to obtain approvals from authorities and more importantly, provide the operator information to make better decisions before launching.
Lastly was SmartSkies SAFE is a web-based application that allows drone operators in Australia to quickly access and easily retrieve safe and efficient airspace information that might impact the execution of their desired operations. It provides controls to identify operation type, time, and location with a single click. The SmartSkies SAFE app is available at no cost to users by accessing the CASA or Know Your Drone websites.
We have enjoyed solidifying existing strategic relationships and creating new ones, to include announcing a partnership with the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group to develop an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) air traffic operating environment. As part of the partnership, ANRA is providing strategic insight on Hyundai’s concept of operations (ConOps) for AAM airspace management and ground mobility integration. Our two companies will also identify research opportunities to help inform regulatory decisions and advance infrastructure projects.
We not only develop the safest and best software at the ANRA factory, but we deploy it for real projects with real stuff. Here are a few highlights.
Making Aviation History in India – ANRA and Swiggy made history by launching the first approved BVLOS flight in India, which kicked off numerous groundbreaking UAS delivery projects in India this year. ANRA powered two of the only three consortiums that obtained required government approvals for medical and food delivery flights, having successfully completed the mandated 100 flight hours. The project concluded having flown over 350 sorties, transiting 1,100 kilometers of incident free operations. You can read more about the projects here and here.
AMU-LED – Air Mobility Urban – Large Experimental Demonstrations (AMU-LED) is a Horizon 2020 project of the European Union framed in the SESAR Joint Undertaking, which aims to demonstrate the safe integration of cargo and passenger drone operations in urban airspace. This is the largest undertaking of its kind with a consortium of seventeen companies, organizations, and municipalities across Europe. The project started with testing and simulations and will culminate in 2022 with more than 100 hours of air vehicle live flight tests over cities in the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. ANRA is playing a vital role in the project by providing its proven SmartSkies™ family of software platforms for advanced airspace management and simulation.
CAELUS – Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland (CAELUS) is a consortium that is developing and testing the UK’s first national distribution network using drones to transport essential medicines, blood, organs, and other medical supplies throughout Scotland. For this project, ANRA is leveraging its SmartSkies UTM, SmartSkies DELIVERY, and MissionManager platform experience and technology as the foundation for the digital demonstrator and follow on live flight deliveries. Using the SmartSkies platform, the CAELUS project will advance drone-enabled delivery capability closer to reality for implementation into legacy airspace systems.
BVLOS Demonstrations in VA with FAA and Raytheon – ANRA Technologies won a project to support the FAA to advance Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLoS) operations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration into the National Airspace System (NAS). Under the contract, ANRA is supporting a ground-based Supplemental Data Service Provider test program consisting of local radar services, UAS weather product services, and UAS service suppliers. Test range operations for the program are provided by Virginia Tech’s Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership and industry partners, including Raytheon Intelligence & Space.
NASA AAM NC1 and NC2 Awards – ANRA Technologies extended its participation in NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project with its selection to participate in National Campaign 1 (NC-1). This win marked ANRA’s continuous AAM support, beginning with NC-Developmental Test (X3) in 2020 and the recently announced award for NC-2 for Community Planning and Integration activities. For NC-1 and NC-2, ANRA is a Provider of Services for UAM (PSU) technology to include X4 – a collection of simulated AAM tests in a relevant virtual environment and actual live flights. These tests explore new methods for data exchanges between regulatory authorities and service providers. ANRA is collaborating with multiple air vehicle manufacturers to simulate scenarios utilizing aero models of their aircraft.
To advance the industry, stakeholders must be willing to invest time and energy to collaborate on policy, standards and technology. ANRA has become a leader in all three, helping to shape the future of aviation with some of those activities listed below.
Standards. The first ever international, consensus based standard for UTM Interoperability was approved with ANRA leading as the ASTM F38 committee Co-Chair. This significant achievement will provide regulators and industry with a standard to implement and harmonise low altitude drone operations.
Ajay Modha, Business Unit Head, ANRA Technologies UK, was appointed to a new role as the Global UTM Association (GUTMA) Standards Lead. Ajay will be following the ISO, ASTM and EUROCAE activities and leading GUTMA’s standards-related activity.
Policy. ANRA was invited to join the FAA’s UAS BVLOS Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee to help shape the future of unmanned aircraft integration into the United States’ National Airspace System (NAS). The FAA established this new committee of external stakeholders to make recommendations to the agency for regulatory requirements that will enable safe, compliant and routine BVLOS UAS operations at scale. ANRA also participates in policy efforts for the Australia Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation, India Director General of Civil Aviation, and UK Civil Aviation Authority.
ANRA brings real world experience and knowledge local and regional levels, having been appointed to the State of Texas Department of Transportation Committee for UAM and assisting the city of Tartu in Estonia efforts for a European Union project for space-based technology for UAM.
In other notable achievements, ANRA won recognition for our award winning team.
NVTC Tech 100 Honoree Times Four. Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), the trade association representing the national capital region’s technology community, on November 11 announced the 2021 NVTC Tech 100, a roster of cutting-edge companies who are driving tech innovation, leading economic growth, and making a positive impact in the region. ANRA was honored to be selected for the fourth consecutive year.
DGCA Letter of Appreciation. ANRA Technologies was honored to have received a Letter of Appreciation from the India Director General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) for the successful completion of Experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Operations. The ANRA-led consortia was one of only two that received such recognition from the government, a testimony to the consortia’s technical achievement and collaborative effort between industry and government.
ANRA had its best year ever for 2021 and we are very grateful for the support of our family, friends and partners across the globe. Our greatest strength remains our amazing teammates and we are especially thankful for their dedication and commitment to developing the safest and most reliable technology.
ANRA looks forward to new and exciting challenges next year as we continue to grow and power the future of autonomous aviation – we wish all of you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2022.