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Future Flight Challenge: sees.ai part of exciting new UK project

By Chris Stonor

The Future Flight Challenge brings together 16 UK organisations, alongside Terra Drone and Sky-Futures, to create an autonomous drone system for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), reports eenewseurope.com. A primary leader of the consortium is sees.ai from West Sussex, a drone command and control system developer.

John McKenna, the company CEO, said, “The Future Flight Challenge funding will accelerate us towards a future where drones fly autonomously at scale, high up alongside manned aviation and low down inside our industrial sites, suburbs and cities.”

The consortium includes major industry leaders such as BAE Systems, the UK’s National Air Traffic Control Services (NATS) and nuclear operator Sellafield.

BVLOS allows remote inspection and monitoring of industrial sites such as nuclear, construction and oil and gas, as well as urban sites in the public domain including road and rail, telecoms infrastructure and live emergency services support. Operating safely over and in congested areas is a major challenge.

Professor Reza Nejabati, an expert in high performance and autonomous networks from the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab, commented, “As a leading research institution in 5G and beyond, we will provide expertise on the design of end-to-end network architecture for the future operation of drones.”

He continued, “Our experts will evaluate a combination of multiple 3GPP (4G and 5G), non 3GPP (WiFi), MEC and network slicing technologies in multi-operator settings with private and public operators. We are very well placed to train the next generation of engineers with unique and cross disciplinary skills in integration of telecommunication with drone systems.”

The Smart Internet Lab is among the technical contributors to the consortium, alongside Vodafone, The Met Office, Flock Cover and UAM Consult Ltd.

During these trials the system will be operated either by two leading drone service providers, Terra Drone and Sky-Futures, or by the in-house drone teams at Sellafield, Network Rail and the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

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(News Source: https://www.eenewseurope.com)

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