This ambitious 2-year project will develop, evaluate, standardise and operationally deploy the world's first fully automated Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to conduct 24/7 commercial UAS operations in one of the busiest airports in the world, London Heathrow. The High intensity Autonomous Drone Operations project (HADO) will create a scalable technical and regulatory enterprise that will dramatically accelerate the commercial roll out of autonomous UAS in high intensity environments across the UK.
The HADO project is being delivered by a collaboration between Operational Solutions Ltd (as the lead partner), Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd, Cranfield University, Rinicom Intelligent Solutions Ltd, HeroTech8 Ltd, Carmenta Technologies Ltd, the National Physical Laboratory, Dynamic Intelligence Solutions Ltd, Thales UK, UAVTEK Production Ltd, Ocuair, the National Air Traffic Service, NexusNine, UAVTEK Ltd, Bird & Bird LLP, Cranfield Airport, Defence Scientific Technology Laboratory, Airports Council International, Virgin Atlantic Airline and Star Alliance Airline.
The project will develop and rollout a set of requirements, operating procedures, an operating safety cases and tools that will enable drones to operate autonomously in a mixed traffic environment and in the vicinity of manned aircraft within a controlled airspace. It will conduct a 4-month evaluation of BVLOS UAV operating at Heathrow airport. This will include missions that transit into and out of the Heathrow perimeter.
Under the direction of the National Physics Laboratory and Cranfield University the HADO project will also develop the first set of testable standards that spans the entire HADO enterprise, including the testing of AI and autonomous decision-making modules, in order to support regulatory approvals and to inform future legislation. HADO will also demonstrate how innovative technology can be combined with conventional methods to address the societal implications of autonomous drone operations in urban environments such as Heathrow.