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Project BLUEPRINT

Consortium Mission

This project aims to provide regulators, technology providers and operators with a blueprint for a UK wide rollout of beyond visual line of sight drone operations.

Consortium Details

 

This project aims to create and demonstrate digital infrastructure and operational procedures that will allow safe and efficient shared airspace.

Recent BVLOS projects have focused on operating in Temporary Danger Areas (TDAs) which are both temporary, closed off to other airspace users, so are not scalable.

Operations in temporary airspace do not allow operators to build a business case around the technology, and instead they have focused on technology demonstrations and trials, which fail to deliver the expected results.

To transition to persistent and routine operations, beyond visual light of sight (BVLOS) drones need to be fully integrated with other airspace users within "shared airspace" rather than within "segregated airspace".

To achieve this, there are six key challenges which need to be overcome:

  1. Development of airspace which is inclusive to all airspace users
  2. Effective governance to manage aviation stakeholders
  3. Development of scalable detect and avoid solutions
  4. Integration and development of a UTM minimum viable product
  5. Integration of drones within an airport environment
  6. Development of airworthiness and software assurance requirements for the enabling technologies

BLUEPRINT aims to solve all of these problems, creating an approach for routine and persistent BVLOS drone operations within the UK via a series of capability blueprints as follows:

  • Airspace - Shared Airspace Zone via mandated Electronic Conspicuity and use of UTM Apps
  • Governance - An industry body which incorporates senior leaders across the whole aviation sector, to help come to a consensus on rules for shared airspace
  • Detect & Avoid - Distributed surveillance and tracking service integrated with Command Units
  • UTM - Building on the CPC Open Access Framework and ASTM standards of interoperability
  • Aerodrome - Development of project Atomicus (FF2 winner) for airport integration
  • Regulatory - Assurance standards for manufacturers, software providers and drone operators

This makes Blueprint applicable to many use cases and opportunities, especially within the specific category for both multi-rotor, single rotor and fixed wing drones where the growth is predicted to explode in size and scale up to approximately 500kg within controlled and uncontrolled airspace for all airspace users who want to share the air.

The aim of the BLUEPRINT is to provide regulators, technology providers and operators with a blueprint for UK wide rollout of BVLOS drone operations which can be commercialised at scale. The blueprint will allow stakeholders to design, plan and build routine and persistent BVLOS drone capabilities which can be exported on a European level.

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