ANRA Technologies Wins UK UTM Project

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.