The Airbus Defense and Space division has collaborated to develop Drone-it!, a monitoring device to support the safe integration of drones in an increasingly crowded airspace.
Drones are can be difficult to detect, as they are small and often indistinguishable on radar. Drone-it! will contribute to real-time tracking and display possibilities for unmanned aerial vehicles, thereby improving airspace safety through enhanced air traffic management (ATM).
Using a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver and transmitter – as well as integrating a new chipset being developed by Airbus telecommunications experts for the Internet of Things – the Drone-it! device effectively “turns drones visible,” according to Alexandre Piot, Drone Traffic Management Project Manager at Airbus Defence and Space. The chipset has the ability to communicate directly with ground networks or be relayed via geostationary orbit satellite.
With 40 flights and six different scenarios , the technology was successfully tested in demonstrations in the United Kingdom in October 2018. Under the code name “CLASS” – CLear Air Situation for UAS, this project was conducted by Airbus Defense and Space in close collaboration with the National School of Civil Aviation (ENAC), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTU) and Unify, a subsidiary of the French giant Atos, specializing in unified communications.