Flylogix collaboration with Cambridge Consultants will enable ground-breaking central control hub for drones

Flylogix and Cambridge Consultants, part of the Capgemini Group, today announce a collaboration that will exploit Iridium’s state-of-the-art satellite communications to safely control unmanned aerial vehicles from a central control hub. This will enable Flylogix to move from local drone piloting at the airfield to centrally controlled operations, massively increasing the resilience of their services to offshore installations. The Flylogix service reduces the cost, risk and environmental impact of gathering data from offshore exploration and production activities. Remote monitoring using satellite-controlled drones is a critical development for offshore operations, while applications that extend beyond line of sight are the next frontier in drone service development.

Oil and gas operators need accurate and timely operational data. Flylogix delivers full-service, over-horizon operations, without the cost and environmental impact of manned aviation. This joint project will test and improve key elements of the service and demonstrate how complex, safety-critical functions can be serviced from a central hub.

Conventional radio-based drone control systems cannot support central control. To date, satellite-based control systems have not been commercially viable in the private sector. Flylogix has already developed a novel dual satellite link that exploits the cost-effective Iridium® network using one of the smallest transceivers available, enabling safe, commercial operations that extend over the horizon. Cambridge Consultants will work with Flylogix to develop and enhance the performance of this system to enable resilient and reliable global operations, all controlled from Flylogix’s head office in the United Kingdom.

Cambridge Consultants has a long-term strategic relationship with Iridium Communications Inc., which operates the world’s only truly global satellite network. Cambridge Consultants helped to develop vital network components, including transceivers, gateway systems and service management platforms, alongside multiple generations of handsets that can access Iridium’s platform. As such, it was the natural choice to support Flylogix in developing its first of a kind service.

To support the development, Flylogix has established a relationship with a global leader in offshore drilling services for oil and gas wells. This company will provide an offshore platform for test operations as well as its unrivalled insights into offshore inspection and data gathering. The collaboration is also supported by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Charles Tavner, Executive Chairman at Flylogix, commented:

 “Flylogix is transforming the safety, cost and environmental impact of gathering data from offshore platforms, and only Iridium satellite communications can provide the robust, low-latency connectivity required for such testing applications. We’re delighted to be working with Cambridge Consultants, the acknowledged leader in satellite communications development, as we make the critical shift to centrally-controlled operations.”

Stewart Marsh, Associate Director at Cambridge Consultants, added:

“This project harnesses our expertise in the aviation and energy sectors. In taking unmanned vehicles beyond line of sight we’re breaking new ground, building on our long track record in technically challenging and mission-critical system design.”

Flylogix is a team of innovative, practically minded engineers, scientists and operators who are transforming the business of remote operations using unmanned aviation systems for over-horizon operations in remote locations.

Flylogix is pioneering the integration of in-house developed software, artificial intelligence, satellite communications with small UAVs and deployable ground stations.

Flylogix is Fareham based and operates a fleet of FX2 unmanned aircraft from locations across the UK, from major commercial airports to short, isolated airstrips.

Flylogix was recently (May 2020) selected to participate in the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) innovation sandbox. This offers innovative companies the chance to collaborate over emerging concepts, helping keep the UK’s aviation sector the forefront of technology

Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 850 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA), Tokyo and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, energy and wireless communications. For more information, visit: www.cambridgeconsultants.com

Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran. Altran is the undisputed world leader in engineering and R&D services. The Group offers its customers a unique value proposition to meet their transformation and innovation challenges. Altran supports its customers, from concept to industrialization, to develop the products and services of tomorrow. Altran has been working for more than 35 years with major players in many sectors: Automotive, Aeronautics, Space, Defence & Naval, Rail, Infrastructure & Transport, Industry & Consumer Products, Life Sciences, Communications, Semiconductor & Electronics, Software & Internet, Finance & Public Sector. In 2019, Capgemini, and Altran announced a merger project in the context of a friendly tender offer to create a global leader in “Intelligent Industry”. Altran generated €3.2 billion in revenue in 2019, with more than 50,000 employees in more than 30 countries. www.altran.com