Thales and Telstra are building an ecosystem to manage low altitude airspace for manned and unmanned vehicles, such as helicopters, drones and autonomous flying taxis.
The ambition is to create a robust digital communications network infrastructure to underpin the navigation and surveillance ecosystem needed to safely manage low altitude airspace.
Thales and Telstra’s prototype air traffic control platform, called Low Altitude Airspace Management (LAAM) is capable of integrating manned and unmanned traffic, and will include automated drone flight approvals and dynamic airspace management.
“With the huge increase in drones in the airspace, flights per day will go from thousands to millions. The challenges are enormous, as are the opportunities," Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive of Thales Australia, said.
"In Australia drone use will drive efficiency and financial benefits to a large proportion of Australian businesses. Thales is partnering with Telstra to contribute to the creation of a seamless sky where we help our customers integrate unmanned aircraft into controlled airspace as well as supporting drone users to perform their missions in an orderly, safe and timely manner.”
“There are extraordinary opportunities for the widespread take-up of unmanned aerial vehicles in Australia," Andrew Scott, Head of Technology for Telstra Labs, said. "To unlock this potential, we are investigating how we can leverage our 4G and 5G technology and IoT capabilities to enable robust communications, navigation and monitoring of UAVs.
"The work we’ve been doing with Thales to build a prototype, which is underpinned by continuous investment in our networks, proves that it is possible for unmanned and manned aerial vehicles to collaborate effectively and safely.”