Drone technology is developing rapidly. Drones can fly beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS). They are able to be controlled with increasing precision, and have the ability to lift and transport heavier loads, and we expect this trend to continue. Yet their operational capabilities have been limited by existing means of connecting controller and drone. At LMT, we believe that by enabling unmanned aircraft systems (UAS’s) to be controlled over the mobile (cellular) network, they will be able to fly BVLOS with greater safety. This will give authorities increased confidence to grant licences for BVLOS flights. Drones will therefore be able to take on entirely new tasks, opening up new and exciting opportunities for this growing industry.
We believe that the safest and most successful real-time communication can be done through the mobile (cellular) network. Indeed, 5G can be configured to enable effective UAV-to-UAV (U2U) and UAV-to-Infrastructure (U2I) communication far easier than previous technologies.
Mobile operators can and will play a major role in the development of UTM applications. LMT is currently working with both the public and private sectors to lay the foundations for such an ecosystem.
LMT plans to include the following functionality in the application:
- safe LLA (low level altitude) communication network for UAS
- population density information
- UAS tracking
- a detect and avoid system
- real-time communication throughout the flight (BVLOS)
LMT’s network coverage and associated benefits (notably licensed spectrum, secure communication, nationwide network coverage etc.) means we are uniquely placed to deliver an application with unparalleled safety and usability.
All UASs used for commercial and recreational purposes will have to use the UTM application to provide information on their flight plan and ongoing fights thereby enabling a smooth and safe integration into what will become an increasingly crowded airspace. With the data available to them, telecommunication operators are in a unique position to provide heightened security through an additional layer of both data and coverage.
In the process of developing this project, we've come to understand that there are many stakeholders who may be interested in becoming involved with us in creating an excellent UTM infrastructure. We are currently open to collaboration with partners interested in developing new ideas, and working together with us to implement the vision of a mobile network-enabled UTM solution.