1:30pm - 1:55pm
The Drone market, particularly the BVLOS UAV segment, is growing exponentially, and expanding in leaps and bounds. Forecasts predict the global drone economy is expected to reach $90 billion by the year 2030, as commercial, enterprise, logistics and other industries embrace the advantages drones have to offer.
Drones are currently seeing growing use in all fields and in all industries, ranging from agriculture, utilities, oil & gas, infrastructure, all the way through to journalism and cinematography. In each of these cases, the inherent advantages of using UAVs to perform work that was previously undertaken by humans is clear to all and is the driving force behind the expansion of the market.
In this speech during WATC2024 skyzr will outline how automated processes will support a proper risk assessment for commercial drone operations as precondition of a successful future of the drone industry regardless of the existence of U-Spaces, and how Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) can leverage a digital toolchain to provide approvals in due time with minimised safety impact.
Focussing on BVLOS
BVLOS, or Beyond Visual Line of Sight, is the operation of a drone or other form of Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) where the distance between the operator and the UAS is larger than Visual Line of Sight (VLOS, or approx. 300 meters).
The ability to fly longer distances BVLOS is a key enabler for efficient and commercially attractive drone operations in numerous fields and industries and can be applied in a wide range of public safety use cases.
The entire UAV industry is waiting for the final rulings and regulations from Civil Aviation Authorities around the world, including the FAA, EASA and other regulators to begin operating BVLOS in earnest. The national implementations present a formidable challenge, as it is evident that the existing framework has not reached a stage where it adequately empowers the industry and public safety organizations to fully harness drone technology at scale. The gap between regulatory provisions and the practical needs of stakeholders is distinct, hindering the seamless integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into our airspace. This discrepancy poses a substantial hurdle, limiting the potential benefits of drone technology and impeding the widespread adoption that is crucial for the industry’s growth.
This status and the common sense that BVLOS operations must be risk assessed translates into the necessity of having a detailed risk assessment for each BVLOS drone operation which will lead to a huge workload and resources needed for both drone operators and the authorising authorities.
To reduce the required resources and the time to receive an approval by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) while maintaining highest safety standards, skyzr developed an automated risk assessment tool for BVLOS operations based on the planned trajectory of the flight and is aligned with the SORA process defined by the JARUS group.
The digital risk assessment tool bridges an analogous gap between the requestor and the approver side by providing stakeholder-specific front-end applications exchanging digital information based on a framework consisting of (a) an algorithm for aggregation, transformation and prioritization of heterogeneous spatial data of different resolutions to generate a hexagon layer, (b) a trajectory-based detailed analysis of classified multidimensional ground and air risks for flight segments using the spatial, hexagon-based visualization on different layers, (c) parameter optimization of the risk calculation algorithms to determine the risk classes based on safety-critical ConOps flight information complementary to the trajectory and (d) the determination of the Specific Assurance and Integrity Level (SAIL) based on the final ground and air risk classes.
The drone industry is facing a high demand of BVLOS while having high efforts due to analogue approval processes, leading to long approval times. The provision of BVLOS operations at scale is a precondition for future commercialisation and growth of the drone industry.
Therefore, there is a current need for digital tools to access the airspace for BVLOS operations which is already available.