By Ben Marcus, Chairman & Co-founder, AirMap
At AirMap, we believe that building the future of drones requires collaboration amongst strong partners. In fact, our long-held leadership position in Unmanned aerial system (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) and our portfolio of innovative products and services is, in large part, the result of the strength of our network of global partners, including Airbus, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Sony — to name only a few.
Today, I’m excited to announce the addition of two incredible strategic partners in AirMap, Honeywell and Temasek.
Honeywell Ventures invests in early-stage, high-growth companies around the world that have emerging or disruptive technologies and are strategically aligned to their investment portfolio and software capabilities. A multinational conglomerate and leading aerospace technology company, Honeywell sees UTM as a critical enabler for drone operations by customers. The company currently uses AirMap’s application programming interfaces (API) for industrial customers in operations such as inspecting power lines and downstream oil and gas equipment.
“Honeywell’s investment in UTM demonstrates our commitment to providing safe, unmanned aerial inspections to our customers using sUAS,” said Murray Grainger, head of Honeywell Venture Capital.
Honeywell Aerospace Senior Director for UAV Programs, Brad Westphal, said, “Effective airspace planning and management starts with educating others and learning from real-world applications. By working with AirMap, we accelerate our end-to-end offering for our customers and bring scalable, safe UTM operations into controlled airspace.”
Incorporated in 1974, Temasek is a global investment company headquartered in Singapore. Supported by their network of international offices, Temasek owns a US$235b portfolio as at 31 March 2018, with significant exposure to Singapore and the rest of Asia. Temasek actively seeks sustainable solutions to address present and future challenges as they pursue investable opportunities that help bring about a better, smarter and more connected world.
Backed by industry-leading long-term investors like these, AirMap has positioned itself as the market-leader in UTM services and the authority on drone enablement. With AirMap, air navigation service providers (ANSP) and civil aviation authorities (CAA) can trust in a platform that is powerful, flexible, and future-proof and a UTM partner that is in it for the long haul.
This is why ANSPs like Switzerland’s skyguide have chosen AirMap as their trusted partner for safely integrating large-scale drone operations into their low-altitude airspace. This time last year at the World ATM Congress in Madrid, we announced with skyguide that we would develop and deploy the first national drone traffic management system in Europe. Just one year later, Swiss U-space is enabling safe and secure access to Swiss skies for thousands of drones. Today, drones routinely operate Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) missions to transport time-sensitive medical laboratory samples and urgently-needed medication between hospitals in Lugano and Zurich.
Swiss U-space was just the start of what really became the year of drone enablement for airspace authorities and commercial drone operators alike. From the expansion of the FAA’s LAANC in the United States to our UTM deployment with ANS CR in the Czech Republic, ANSPs around the world are working to enable safe and secure access to low-altitude airspace for drones. With the AirMap UTM Platform, these ANSPs can connect with drones, drone operators, and enterprises using drones to exchange information and services related to remote identification, situational awareness, notification, authorization, and traffic deconfliction.
An Expanding Portfolio of Innovative Tools
In addition to our work with ANSPs, we added new features and capabilities to the AirMap UTM Platform. For example, we added advanced real-time traffic tracking capabilities, combining multiple aviation data sources for airspace managers to visualize, monitor, and remotely identify manned and unmanned aircraft. We pre-integrated the open-source AirMap Platform SDK into QGroundControl to give developers and drone manufacturers (OEM) easy access to mission-critical UTM services. We also selected Microsoft Azure as our cloud-computing platform to bring enhanced security, reliability, and support to AirMap UTM. Most recently, AirMap, along with Alphabet’s Wing and Kittyhawk.io, demonstrated a network-based remote ID application on the InterUSS Platform™.
AirMap is also committed to providing drone operators with the information they need to fly with confidence. Last year we launched Real-Time Geofencing Alerts for DJI pilots using the AirMap for Drones mobile application. Geofencing alerts advise pilots when their drone is approaching, on the edge of, or intersecting any airspace area in which drone flight is regulated, restricted, or prohibited, an important step in enhancing flight safety assurance and conformance monitoring on the AirMap UTM Platform.
AirMap remains committed to solving the most complex challenges that impede drone enablement. Working together with our partners to safely integrate high-scale drone operations into low-altitude airspace, we can unlock opportunities for drone operators, drone service providers, and drone enterprises.
This post originally appeared on Medium.