Drones have become the latest must-have technology for industry and consumers alike. However with the technology taking off to such great heights, the sector has come under increased pressure to find a way to integrate drones into National Airspace Systems. Safety has also become of paramount importance and, with the number of drones in our skies increasing every day, the question of how we ensure everyone flies safely has come to the forefront of industry debates. Finding a solution to these challenges, however, has proved to be a continual stumbling block for the industry to date.
This is where Altitude Angel comes in. Set for release in October of this year, Altitude Angel has taken the Internet of Things to the skies and created the Internet of Flying Things™, a global airspace management system designed to safely integrate drones into our skies. Altitude Angel fills a massive gap in the market for providing Air Traffic Management for drones, with this unique service operating globally, suitable for use by millions of drones and providing safety, analytics & route-planning for any drone, consumer or vendor.
Richard Parker, Founder & CEO of Altitude Angel has provided his insight into this exciting new venture: ‘if you imagine a system which knows about the location of all drones, with two-way communication, then you’re close to imagining what Altitude Angel is. Altitude Angel works a bit like the ADS-B style system in place on most commercial airlines today, requiring drones to report their location to us regularly, but unlike ADS-B, we can talk back to the drones (or whatever system is in control of it). If we sense a drone is about to do something that could harm itself, property or potentially people, we’ll send it a targeted calculated instruction to avoid that situation in the first place’. On the vision behind Altitude Angel Parker has commented, ‘I wanted to create a system which was capable of actually logging and auditing the state of everything in the airspace for regulatory and compliance purposes, and a system which could step in and take corrective action directly to avoid a dangerous situation, rather than one which was ‘advisory’ or simply a map-based display of everything around’.
One of the stand-out features of Altitude Angel’s data architecture is its Automatic Collision Avoidance technology. A key problem preventing the development of the drone industry at the moment is that most drones cannot currently detect each other or obstacles they may face during flight. With headlines about drones coming dangerously close to other aircraft now a frequent occurrence, Altitude Angel offers a solution which could not only prevent this but also introduce a comprehensive safety system for drone flights. But how can Altitude Angel do this? Altitude Angel is a global network which monitors hazards and drones in real-time. The key difference between Altitude Angel and other services is that it issues instructions directly to software on a drone, or in control of a drone, rather than simply providing advice which pilots can miss or ignore. This enables Altitude Angel to physically move drones in the face of a collision by sending instructions to those at risk and ensures that drone users can ‘“automagically” avoid other drones in the network, as well as hazardous areas and no-fly zones’. The service also automatically follows local & national drone laws and industry safety practices to ensure that everyone is flying safely. With their hazard database growing by 3% each day, Altitude Angel is set to become the most comprehensive drone management program in the world.
Altitude Angel is not just for the lucky few either. Whether you are a consumer with one drone or a fleet operator with dozens Altitude Angel can be used by everyone in the industry anywhere in the world. On the benefits of using the service Richard Parker has noted ‘for a single drone operator connecting his or her own drone, it’s going to be the ability to keep them compliant with rules/regulations they may not even know exist! Just pick up your drone, go fly, have fun, we’ll do the rest. Plus, we have other features in the pipeline. For fleet operators, ground station apps or cloud-based drone control vendors, we provide easy integration points to implement our avoidance and airspace management technologies into their systems’. The most amazing part is that right now Altitude Angel is completely free to use, and with their collision avoidance technologies likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future, Altitude Angel is set to become the must-use service for the drone industry.
To discover more about Altitude Angel and their Internet of Flying Things™ visit their website http://www.altitudeangel.com/ or visit their stand at the SkyTech 2016 Drone Expo taking place 27th & 28th January 2016 http://www.skytechevent.com/