UTM + Drone Detection = Airspace Awareness
Over the past 24 months, ANRA Technologies has integrated its Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) capabilities with remote identification and drone surveillance technologies to create a Single Integrated Airspace Operating Picture (SIAOP). SIAOP aims to provide a reliable solution for detecting, locating, and tracking cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft and, where required, participants’ identification.
Despite significant technological advances, many barriers to full-scale drone adoption exist. Ensuring safe drone operations in the presence of other aircraft will ultimately determine whether the economic benefits of drones are realized for more complex operations. Additionally, increased and comprehensive airspace awareness assists security agencies, law enforcement entities, and other government officials in distinguishing compliant or authorized airspace users from those potentially posing a safety or security risk. This will become increasingly more important as the number of drone operations increases in all classes of airspace.
There have been reported incidents of drones flying near critical infrastructures such as airports, ports and power plants, causing disruptions to aircraft operations and closing airports. As uncrewed aircraft applications progress from small drones to air mobility, new operational and security risks are emerging relating to the lack of intelligence and reduced warning times in a fast-moving picture. Some of these risks include:
- Unauthorized flights in restricted airspaces over aerodromes, ports, military bases, prisons, critical infrastructure or city centers.
- Unauthorized flights over people and crowds including at concerts and special events.
- Endangerment of civil aircraft (e.g., flying too high or within an aerodrome/airport or restricted airspace).
ANRA overcomes these challenges by demonstrating the technological, operational, and regulatory basis for a Single Integrated Airspace Operating Picture. SIAOP integrates remote identification technologies, drone detection surveillance, and air surveillance (ADS-B, radar, etc.) using ANRA’s data fusion algorithms to develop situational awareness. We envision two immediate applications for SIAOP:
- As a mobile application for surveillance and identification of unauthorized and authorized drones to enable enforcement action.
- Integrated into fixed or tactical UTM deployments for security or defense users tasked with delivering safe drone operations.
Today’s infrastructure lacks the capability to detect or track small drones that are not participating in UTM because small, plastic drones are nearly undetectable using conventional ATC radar and are difficult to see with the human eye. The optimum solution is combining UTM with effective surveillance to detect and track cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft, obtain reliable positions, and identify the drone for a comprehensive air picture. ANRA SIAOP supports integration with UTM platforms, multiple remote identification technologies, and multiple surveillance sources (RF, Radar, ADS-B, Electro-Optical, etc.). This solution leverages ANRA’s data fusion engine and supports open interfaces anticipating new surveillance sensors.
For a deeper dive, read the DRONELIFE interview with Founder and CEO Amit Ganjoo at the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas: ANRA SIAOP Combines the Best of Counter Drone Technologies and UTM