NOVA Systems and Australia first BLOS trials

Nova Systems has partnered with Queensland Local Government Infrastructure Services (LGIS) to conduct an Australian first trial of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations involving UAS Traffic Management (UTM) systems and the Telstra LTE network.

Under current regulations, pilots must be able to see their drone at all times – operating below 400ft, and not over populated areas – unless granted an exemption by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

The trials will investigate how drones can be used by Queensland’s local councils to prepare for and recover from cyclones, storms, floods, fires, and any other disaster/emergency scenarios.

Nova’s support includes development of the trial safety case, and design of the trial to ensure rigorous test and investigation of technologies that will support BVLOS operations into the future. These important activities will leverage Nova’s extensive background, experience and proprietary methodologies with military drone safety case development, notably with the RAAF Heron Safety Case for operations in civil controlled airspace.

Nova’s significant Test and Evaluation experience supporting the Australian Defence Force is a key enabler for CASA approval of these trials.

The trials are intended to include:

  • Multiple drones operating BVLOS in the same airspace at the same time,
  • Command and Control of drones over LTE,
  • Payload data distribution over LTE,
  • Exercising a new approach to BVLOS Safety Case approval, and
  • Feedback to CASA on the effectiveness of safety measures.

This is a first step in the establishment of a framework for future advanced trials in Australia which will provide significant insight into the future of BVLOS operations.

An Australian first, the trails will aim to operate multiple drones Beyond Visual Line of Sight at the same time, over populated areas, above 400ft.

Nova Systems is Australia’s largest privately owned defence engineering Professional Service Provider, specialising in the provision of engineering and management services, providing industry and government with world class independent expertise in delivering complex projects and solving technologically challenging problems.