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Huawei and Unifly Collaborate to Identify and Track Drone Flights

By [email protected] - 11th June 2018 - 10:20

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd and Unifly N.V have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the field of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems. The MoU covers both research and development, and a joint market approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, or drone) management.

The global market for UAS is growing rapidly as drones become established in diverse vertical markets such as agriculture, oil and gas, and logistics. According to SPO Lab, a business research organization inside Huawei, the global UAS market opportunity is estimated to exceed USD100B over the next five years as thousands of drones take to the skies.

As the number of drones occupying the airspace above our cities and towns dramatically increases, a key concern for national Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) is how this disruptive technology can be permitted to flourish within a managed environment. Registration, insurance, air worthiness and certification are top of mind for national agencies – as is allaying public concerns regarding safety and privacy. New solutions are required, as the existing methodology for airspace management neither scopes nor scales to address these concerns. ANSPs are looking to technology and communication providers for innovative and assured solutions to meet this challenge.

Huawei has developed a technology to identify and locate drone users based on the operator's SIM card. Huawei’s technology combined with Unifly’s Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platform enables ANSPs to integrate drones into the airspace safely and securely. Leveraging globally standardized cellular technology to connect official agencies and drone operators, Unifly’s UTM platform makes it possible to not only follow drones in real-time, but also to determine who is flying, where they are flying and whether they are permitted to be in that airspace. Aligned with initiatives such as U-space, which supports the EU’s aviation strategy and regulatory framework to enable dense drone air traffic, Unifly’s platform also includes key digital technologies for flight planning, airspace management, live tracking and dynamic situational awareness.

“4.5G and 5G technology play a key role in the registration and identification of drones and drone users as well as the tracking of drones in the airspace; essential services in a UTM architecture. We are delighted to collaborate with Unifly to address the challenges of mass market connected drone deployment”: commented Peter Zhou, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei Wireless Networks

Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly said: "I am very excited to announce our partnership with Huawei. Huawei is a world leader in wireless technology and Unifly is a world leader in unmanned traffic management. Now both parties have agreed to join forces to create a comprehensive, end-to-end solution for the UTM market, I am convinced we will see the next step in drone integration into the general airspace very soon.

Image: Left to right: Koen Meuleman, CFO of Unifly and Alex Wang Yufeng, President of Huawei Wireless X Labs

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