This month’s edition of Air Traffic Management magazine featured an article written by ANRA Technologies‘ Amit Ganjoo. The article details the concepts – and challenges – of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems.
The goal of UTM is safety: and the system needs to be “an independent, self-directed, and scalable system that will manage and monitor the drones and their flights,” says Ganjoo. UTM is a critical part of real drone integration and greater adoption of commercial drones – until it’s developed, in partnership between regulators, technology providers and stakeholders, dramatically increasing the number of drones in the air just isn’t practical.
The entire article (read on ATM Magazine Website or download the PDF version here) is a must-read for operators who want to understand the pieces of a working UTM system and what that might mean to them. It’s a complex problem – and developers face some complex challenges to getting it done.
Some of the key challenges that the UTM community faces are due simply to the fact that UTM hasn’t been done before. The community needs to establish definitions that are technology agnostic, figure out which existing technologies are applicable and appropriate, and understand how other efforts – like Remote ID and Tracking – fit in with the whole. They need to make sure that any approach is flexible and agile enough to change with a rapidly growing industry. And they need to ensure that any solution is fair, allowing equitable access to the airspace.
Despite the challenges, UTM is well on its way. ANRA and other technology providers are successfully demonstrating that drones can share the sky safely with other aircraft, even on a large scale.
“This is all amazing technology and USS’ are proving that they can keep multiple aircraft safe while successfully deconflicting and prioritizing even when the unexpected happens. While the acronyms can be cryptic and the technologies complex, this is exciting stuff for commercial operators everywhere,” writes Ganjoo.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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