NTT DATA to Launch "airpalette® UTM" Drone Traffic Management Software Package

- Enabling remote control of multiple drones and airspace management to contribute to safe drone operations -

May 31, 2017

NTT DATA CORPORATION

NTT DATA Corporation (hereinafter NTT DATA) announces the launch of the “airpalette® UTM” software package in October 2017. This software package consists of an “FOS” (Flight Operation System) drone operation control function for businesses that use drones and a “UTM core” (UAS Traffic Management core) unmanned aircraft traffic management function for airspace managers.

The FOS function enables simultaneous remote operation of multiple drones, which will help improve the efficiency of work activities using drones, such as infrastructure inspections and disaster prevention activities. The UTM core function centralizes the management of position information of multiple drones operating in a certain airspace, and it will contribute to airspace safety by allowing quick transmission of alerts for dangerous situations to drone operators.

NTT DATA has high anticipation for the growth of drone usage and will continue to develop and provide a variety of services to help realize safe and secure drone operations in Japan and overseas.

Background

Recent technological advances of improved drone control stability, reduced drone prices, and deregulation of drones usage around the world has made it relatively easy to utilize drones for various purposes. Due to these trends, the types of services that utilize drones have been rapidly increasing in recent years and demand for drones is increasing, especially for performing dangerous or time-consuming tasks remotely. To efficiently use drones for businesses in such applications, the need for systems to easily create flight plans and make simultaneous operation of multiple drones possible are on a rise.

Meanwhile, the widespread use of drones is causing growing concern. When multiple business operators operate their drones at the same time in the same airspace, there are risks of drone to drone crashes and collision with manned aircrafts if drones enter a restricted airspace such as near airport or heliport.

To resolve those issues, NTT DATA developed the airpalette UTM software package for safe and efficient operation of multiple drones based on its expertise accumulated for over more than 40 years of experience in providing IT services to customers in the field of manned aircraft traffic control and management. NTT DATA will launch the airpalette UTM starting in October 2017.

Outline and features

The airpalette UTM software package consists of two functions for efficient and safe drone operations. One is the FOS function for businesses (drone operators) that use drones in their business activities and drone operation service providers. The other is the UTM core function for airspace managers who manage multiple drones in flight.

The FOS function enables simultaneous remote operation*1 of multiple drones. It helps improve the efficiency of work activities using drones, such as infrastructure inspections and disaster prevention activities. The UTM core function centralizes the management of drone position information operating in a certain airspace, allowing to detect possibilities of mid-air collisions and entry into a restricted airspace, and to transmit the information quickly to the drone operator, thus ensuring airspace safety. Although there are various purpose-specific drones that are being manufactured and sold currently, the airpalette UTM software package is able to offer high versatility for use with various types of drones.

The FOS function will be available to drone operators, while the UTM core function will be provided to airspace managers.

Functions of airpalette UTM

Details of the FOS function

  • Remote operation of drones using various types of networks
  • Simultaneous control of multiple drones
  • Flight planning function (flight date and time; latitude, longitude, and altitude information of takeoff, passing, and destination points; air speed; etc.)
  • Drone self-position display function
  • Drone and user information management function
  • Map, restricted airspace, weather, and topographic information display and management function
  • Interfacing with business software or other external information (map information, weather information, information of other nearby drones, etc.)
  • Flight plan application function*
  • Manned and other aircraft position information, NOTAM (notice to airmen)*2, and radio wave coverage area*3 information display function*

Details of the UTM core function

  • Overall monitoring function such as monitoring of multiple drone positions
  • User information management function
  • Flight plan confirmation function (flight date and time; latitude, longitude, and altitude information of takeoff, passing, and destination points; air speed; etc.)
  • Function for transmitting various information (flight plans of other aircraft, information of other aircraft, airspace information, NOTAM, etc.) to FOS
  • Flight plan verification function that takes into consideration map, restricted airspace, and topographic information
  • Manned aircraft information provision function*
  • Mid-air collision possibility detection function
  • Inter-operator adjustment function (airspace management, air traffic status management, etc.)*
  • *(Items marked with “*” are currently under development.)

Future business activities

NTT DATA has high anticipation for the growth of drone usage and will continue to develop and provide a variety of services to help realize safe and secure drone operations in Japan and overseas.

Notes

  • *1May be prohibited or require permission pursuant to local laws and regulations.
  • *2NOTAM refers to aviation information, such as air navigation facility information and air service information, provided by relevant organizations for the purposes of maintaining safe operation of aircraft.
  • *3“Radio wave coverage area” refers to an area where radio waves transmitted from the base station can be received.
  • *Airpalette is a registered trademark of NTT DATA Corporation in Japan, CTM (Europe), the United States, and China.
  • *Other product names, company names, and organization names mentioned in the text are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

For more information, please contact:

PublicDivision1, Public Sector1
NTT DATA Corporation
Tel: +81-3-050-5546-2289

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