ANRA Technologies Wins UK UTM Project

ANRA, Connected Places Catapult, and industry partners to conduct simulation and live flight trials in a multi-UTMSP operating environment

WASHINGTON, DC, and London, UK – July 30, 2020 – ANRA Technologies, a leading provider of end-to-end drone operations and traffic management solutions, today announced that it’s SmartSkies CTR airspace management platform has been selected for the United Kingdom‘s Connected Places Catapult (CPC) Lot 1 Phase 3 project.  Commissioned by the UK Department for Transport (DfT), CPC’s mission is to develop an Open Access UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system, a coordinated low-level digital and automated air traffic system for the synchronization and consolidation of the numerous UTM services.  

ANRA is no stranger to Catapult.  In 2018, ANRA participated in Phase 1, a DfT research and development project led by the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) to lay the groundwork for a safe working environment for commercial drone operations in the UK.  ANRA worked alongside industry partners to develop the requirements and validation methods for a UTM framework. This key CPC Report was the result of this collaboration during Phase 1 of the program.  

The industry team worked on generating preliminary requirements for a UTM framework and identified key research requirements that Government and Industry must address to enable safe and efficient integration of UAS in UK airspace.

In a follow-on effort in 2019, ANRA was awarded a Phase 2 contract to continue the collaboration with CPC to build upon research and development activity from the previous phase.

In Phase 2, ANRA participated as a UTM service provider (UTMSP) in collaboration with government, regulatory, and other stakeholders.

ANRA supported the design and development of the UK UTM framework and architecture, focusing on building the following three aspects of UTM:

·        Review of Architecture and Key Services

·        Operational Framework for Processes and Planning

·        Conflict Management Framework

ANRA’s most recent win is for Phase 3. ANRA, CPC, and industry partners will conduct simulated and live flight trials in a multi-UTMSP operating environment in 2020-202.

The Phase 3 CPC Open Access UTM project will develop an independent, self-directed, and scalable system that will manage and monitor the drones and their flights. This will factor in inputs from external sources such as obstacle, terrain, weather, airspace, command and control (C2) links, performance data, and make this data available to operators and service providers. The system will be capable of sending notifications to external stakeholders like public safety and local agencies to enable airspace coordination and meet critical safety requirements in a multi-UTMSP operating environment. 

“The UK is rapidly becoming a global leader in advancing commercial drone technologies.  We are honored to have contributed to all Connected Places Catapult Open-Access UTM Research and Development Programs and are excited to commence Phase 3 simulated and live-flight testing in pursuit of a safe, interoperable, and efficient traffic management system for the UK airspace,” stated Amit Ganjoo, CEO and Founder of ANRA Technologies.

The goal is to build an interoperable system with technology-agnostic protocols that do not require constant human monitoring and surveillance and can still ensure the safety, security, and control of drones in the low-altitude airspace.  

ANRA’s SmartSkies CTR UTM platform will demonstrate multi-UTMSP interoperability and data exchange, as well as test the UTM framework with use-cases in nominal and off-nominal conditions, including Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations.  The project will conclude with complete knowledge transfer to the  UK DfT, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and industry.  

ANRA Technologies looks forward to working with UK government leaders, Connected Places Catapult, and industry partners Wing, Altitude Angel, AiRXOS, and Collins Aerospace. 

About ANRA Technologies

ANRA Technologies, a UK Private Limited Company, with offices in London, Washington DC, and New Delhi, is an international provider of end-to-end drone operations and traffic management solutions for unmanned aircraft operators and airspace managers. ANRA offers intelligent and modular traffic management software capabilities as part of the SmartSkiesTM family for standards compliant UAS Traffic Management (UTM) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operations. For organizations that need an enterprise-class drone operations solution, we offer Mission ManagerTM, and for delivery solutions we offer SmartSkies DeliveryTM.  Learn more by visiting www.flyanra.com

About the Connected Places Catapult

The Connected Places Catapult accelerates smarter living and travelling in and between the places of tomorrow. We focus on growing businesses with innovations in mobility services and the built environment that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness. The Connected Places Catapult operates at the intersection between public and private sectors and between local government and transport authorities. We convene the disparate parts of the market to help innovators navigate the complexity of doing business, creating new commercial opportunities and improving productivity, socio-economic and environmental benefits for places. For more information visit cp.catapult.org.uk

Research project to open pathway to commercial drone operations the UK

A ground-breaking new project announced today (30th July) will build and then demonstrate how Open-Access UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) capability can support drone operations below 400ft.

The Connected Places Catapult is bringing together a national and international consortium to develop a world leading Open-Access UTM framework for drones. The project, commissioned by the Department for Transport, will continue laying the groundwork for a safe flying environment for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations in the UK, enabling efficient sharing of airspace with manned aircraft and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations of drones. 

There is a huge global opportunity for countries that can successfully accommodate commercial drone operations, it’s thought the sector could be worth £127bn globally. UTM is recognised as a key enabler to address the safe and efficient integration of unmanned vehicles into the airspace and Connected Places Catapult in collaboration with AiRXOS (part of GE Aviation), Altitude Angel, ANRA Technologies, Collins Aerospace and Wing will work towards the first set of the safe and regulated UTM capabilities this year.

This research and development project will create principal architectural features, communications interfaces and key services that will be evaluated through simulations before progressing to field-trials. The trial will build on existing platforms and standards to create a developmental system to explore UTM and drone operations, as well as identifying the next research steps and facilitating knowledge transfer to government and industry.

Dr. Ajay Modha, Principal Technologist at the Connected Places Catapult, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate a UK-specific UTM ecosystem and represents a key step in lowering the technology and operational barriers for UAS operations. A key objective is to demonstrate how this capability can support near term and future markets needs and ambitions. As Phase 2 of the Future Flight Challenge kicks-off, a key aim of this project is to provide greater insight and actionable data to the UAS community who may be tackling UTM for the first time”.

Ted Lester, Chief Technologist, AiRXOS said:

“After participating in the successful 2019-2020 effort with Connected Places Catapult to develop a framework for UTM in the UK, AiRXOS looks forward to demonstrating with peer UTM service providers safe, efficient, and economical UAS airspace integration to accelerate the beneficial use of UAS in the UK and around the world.”

On being chosen to take part in the Connected Places Catapult project, Richard Ellis, Altitude Angel, Chief Business Officer said:

“We are delighted to continue to work with CPC to continue validation of the Open UTM framework we pioneered in 2019.  The live trials will benefit significantly from Altitude Angel’s existing extensive API’s and experience of providing production services across the world.  We believe this will form a solid foundation for the UK to establish repeatable and scalable drone operations.” 

Amit Ganjoo, CEO and Founder of ANRA Technologies UK Pvt Limited said

“The UK is rapidly becoming a global leader in advancing commercial drone technologies.  We are honoured to have contributed to all Connected Places Catapult Open-Access UTM Research and Development Programmes and are excited to commence live-flight testing in pursuit of a safe, interoperable, and efficient traffic management system,”

Sean Camilleri, Principal Strategic Development Manager at Collins Aerospace said:

“This ground-breaking program gives us the opportunity to test out the most prominent emerging standards and theories of UAS traffic management and put them to the test in collaboration with our peers. Successful trials will enable us to move another step closer to unlocking the full social and economic benefits of beyond visual line of sight drone operations in the UK”.

James Ryan Burgess, CEO at Wing said:

“Drones and the services they provide present significant benefits to the United Kingdom, supporting emergency response, reducing emissions and air pollution and increasing access to food, medicine and other goods. We’re pleased to be joining the Catapult project to advance the safe and open use of the airspace and look forward to bringing our global experience to enable a scalable and low cost UTM architecture that can support the volume and diversity of unmanned aviation.”