In September 2020 we announced that ANRA Technologies was part of a highly innovative project together with Trax International, uAvionix and Plane Finder to demonstrate Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations in non-segregated airspace in the United Kingdom.
Recently, the project has been accepted as a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Sandbox partner. The Sandbox will allow the project consortium to work closely with the CAA as the project transitions from research to trials and onto demonstrations. Along the way, the project will provide information to help shape UAS regulations in the UK.
A key aim of this project is to demonstrate how drones may be operated in the same airspace as other aircraft without the need for segregation. This project intends to make this demonstration using the Transponder Mandatory Zone (TMZ) concept which is a defined airspace wherein the carriage and operation of transponder equipment is mandatory. Note that the Airspace class does not change.
TMZ were created as a means of increasing safety and reducing the risk of collision in busy airspaces. In order to operate a drone in this airspace, the project will develop drone operating rules and protocols to be used by drone operators during the trials. A key step is to make drones electronically conspicuous using ADS-B (transponder) and creation of digital airspace picture using ANRA’s SmartSkiesTM traffic management platform to provide operators with decision-making information and improve safety and enable BVLOS operations.
The project will take advantage of the UK CAA’s intention to utilise 978 Mhz as a second ADS-B frequency to share surveillance and flight information data with other airspace users.
A live trial is planned to take place in 2021 in partnership with the Aviation Innovation Centre at Goodwood Aerodrome.