The skies above above Europe are buzzing: more and more drones are appearing above us as unmanned aircraft systems carry out a range of jobs more quiet, cost efficient and cleaner than conventional alternatives. However, such devices cannot be seen by radar, which has lead to a number of problems, including the closure of airports in London and Frankfurt.
At Hypermotion, Jan-Eric Putze, CEO of the start up Droniq, explains to Auto Futures the benefits of drones.
“Our target is to fly with drones safely and efficiently,” he says. “In a couple of years we will see around four hundred thousand drones more in the sky – in Germany alone.”
Drone are volatile enough to help everybody. For example, rescue services can deploy staff and equipment more efficiently and drones are already making a name for themselves in the agriculture sector. But, ultimately, they need to be controlled.
But how can we organise the skies in Europe? Well, Putze says that that answer is the mobile communications network, which is already available and serves as the basic infrastructure and the flight control systems of air traffic control.
In short, a drone need just a LTE module with integrated SIM card, so it can send its position to, in this case, the German Telekom’s mobile communications network. And with access to the so-called UTM-system, the pilot can easily monitor the surrounding airspace and is informed about all relevant flight activity.
“Drones flying without LTE module cannot be detected using UTM-system and are not visible at first,” adds Putze. “However, using the sensor technology of a drone detection system, we can locate their position by entering data into the UTM-system.”
This combination of drone data and information from air flight control will help the drone industry secure a safer sky – which is great news for the likes of Heathrow and Frankfurt airport. But one thing still needs to be addressed: a legal basis for full integration into the unmannded aircrafts.
“We intend on creating the digital platform for unmanned aviation, bringing together supply and demand within the drone market,” says Putze. “We want our customers to be able to find everything they need in one place – from permission to conduct drone flights to insurance.”