Mobile Network-Enabled UTM application

An UTM app injected with the cellular network’s insight, providing a safer flying infrastructure than ever.

Challenge

When implementing new drone and urban air mobility solutions into common airspace, the main challenge is providing high safety levels to all airspace users. As the number of drones and UAVs using operational airspace will increase significantly due to the vast potential applications of the technology, the existing air traffic management (ATM) systems will likely face various hurdles. The potential struggle for implementing drone traffic management (UTM) systems into ATM systems requires a new and reliable communication solution that enables full use of drone technologies while securely coordinating airspace users.

Providing secure communication through the cellular network

LMT believes that the safest and most successful real-time communication can be done through the mobile network. Indeed, 5G can be configured to enable effective UAV-to-UAV (U2U) and UAV-to-Infrastructure (U2I) communication far more effectively than previous technologies. Therefore, enabling unmanned aircraft systems (UAS’s) to be controlled over the mobile network can significantly increase the safety of BVLOS flights.

Developing the UTM application

Mobile operators can and will play a significant role in the development of UTM systems and applications. LMT is currently working with both the public and private sectors to lay the foundations for such an ecosystem. The mobile operator’s network coverage and associated benefits (notably, licensed spectrum, secure communication, nationwide network coverage, etc.) show that LMT is uniquely placed to deliver an application with unparalleled safety and usability.

 

Being a mobile operator, LMT can complement a mobile network-enabled UTM app with such functionalities as:

 

  • 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) 

 

All UASs used for commercial and recreational purposes will have to use the UTM application to provide information on their flight plan and ongoing flights, thereby enabling a smooth and safe integration into the airspace. With the available data, telecommunication operators are unique to provide heightened security through an additional layer of data and coverage. 

 

LMT is currently open to collaboration with partners interested in developing new ideas and working together to implement the vision of a mobile network-enabled UTM solution.

The cellular network capabilities in use

LMT has already demonstrated the mobile network’s capabilities in connection with drone technologies in several use cases. For example, in November 2019, LMT was one of the first to demonstrate a BVLOS drone flight conducted entirely on the mobile network. And in September 2020, the operator conducted the first-ever cross-border drone flight on the mobile network. 

 

LMT is a GUTMA member and an active member of the GSMA drone working group. Additionally, the mobile operator is involved in the Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity, a collaboration initiative between GUTMA and the GSMA. 

For drone integration into communal airspace to happen smoothly and safely, all UASs will have to use a UTM application to provide information on their precise location.

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