Xwing’s Superpilot Becomes FAA’s First ‘Standard’ UAS Certification Project

An Xwing Cessna equipped with the company’s Superpilot technology flies over California. Photo courtesy of Xwing.

SAN FRANCISCO—The autonomous aviation company Xwing has submitted a Project Specific Certification Plan (PSCP) to the FAA, becoming the first Standard Category large unmanned aerial system to receive official project designation. This marks the beginning of the process for approval of uncrewed commercial cargo operations in the national airspace.

Unlike other aviation projects that focus on augmenting piloted operations with autonomous technology or have Special Category certification, Xwing’s Superpilot technology integrates into existing type-certified aircraft to enable unmanned operations that work within the existing air traffic control system. Superpilot harnesses advanced AI and machine learning technologies to become the world’s first fully autonomous, gate-to-gate flight technology.

The company’s PSCP submission is the result of years of collaboration between Xwing and FAA officials to develop a certification plan for UAS approval. With project designation, Xwing is now on a recognized path toward regulatory approval for unmanned commercial cargo flights. This process represents the first time the FAA has assigned resources to a UAS for a Standard Category airworthiness certificate. Although focused on air cargo operations, Superpilot will be benchmarked against the current aviation safety standards for passenger aircraft, among the highest standards of avionic safety.

“Xwing is leading the way for aviation automation with a pragmatic approach to compliance and safety,” said Earl Lawrence, the chief compliance and quality officer at Xwing. “Adherence to the existing regulatory framework, our operational expertise as an air carrier, and use of already certified aircraft, enables us to meet the high safety standards required in aviation today. With the ability to work transparently within the air traffic control system, Xwing’s technology has the potential to take safety to an even higher level.”

The company’s pragmatic approach to autonomous system development is accelerating the introduction of complete autonomy within air cargo. Upon certification, Xwing’s Superpilot system has the potential to improve flight operations by:

  • Making high-risk flight phases safer: Xwing is the first certification project to use AI and machine learning to improve the safety of taxi, takeoff and landing, the highest-risk phases of commercial aviation.
  • Increasing overall flight safety: Xwing’s automation of all phases of flight with “human on-the-loop” supervision improves safety by combining the ability to communicate in real-time with air traffic control and other aircraft with sensors that can continuously see in the dark, in all weather, and in sun glare.
  • Reducing operational costs: Without a pilot tied to a physical aircraft, it is possible to reduce pilot costs and fly the aircraft more often, yielding more ROI per aircraft.
  • Connecting more communities: Improving the economics of small aircraft operations and enabling flexible scheduling, cargo carriers can meet the needs of their rural and super-rural customers and offer more access to affordable express cargo options for local businesses.

The news arrives as airlines continue to struggle with pilot shortages, with United Airlines announcing it expects carriers will need 10,000 new pilots this year but only has 6,000 qualified candidates.

Simultaneously, e-commerce sales are set to top $6.3 trillion this year, increasing demand for regional transportation and delivery services. Together with its logistics partners, Xwing plans to bridge this gap in the market upon certification.

Event 38 Unmanned Systems Uses E400 Drone to Map Turks and Caicos Islands

An Event 38 E400 drone flies in Turks and Caicos. Photo courtesy of Event 38 Unmanned Systems.

RICHFIELD, Ohio—Event 38 Unmanned Systems, which manufactures American-made mapping drones, said its E400 fixed-wing drone was used to collect aerial imagery and mapping data in Turks and Caicos.

The drone captured enough data to produce orthomosaics of two entire islands, totaling 238 square kilometers, in a matter of days, the company announced.

The project was conducted by PLACE, a global nonprofit technology organization dedicated to solving the inefficiencies of modern-day mapping and democratizing mapping data by providing hyperlocal, accurate, detailed optical imagery. The organization had been actively searching for a better aerial imaging solution when they were connected with Event 38.

“It can be difficult and expensive to get an airplane into the geographies where we work,” said Peter Rabley, founder of PLACE. “Satellite imagery is quite complicated to order and process the data, and many of these geographies have intense cloud cover, which can disturb the imagery.”

The logistics of data capture weren’t the only challenge. “Some countries dislike the fact that they have to pay an external satellite company for one-time use of their mapping data and can’t create derived works without paying more for a new license,” Rabley said.

“PLACE was looking for a fixed-wing, VTOL drone with a long flight time that could map large areas and capture high-resolution imagery,” said Jeff Taylor, founder and CEO of Event 38. “The E400 fulfilled all of their requirements, including an industry-leading flight time of 90 minutes, plus vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. We were also intentional about making the E400 as user-friendly as possible, including a hot-swap payload, a low maintenance electric powertrain, and open-source integrations, so we could remove any barriers to entry that might prevent someone from using it for important surveying and data collection projects.”

PLACE’s first mapping project with the E400 took place in Turks and Caicos, an archipelagic island nation in the Caribbean. Turks and Caicos’ previous mapping data was at least a decade old, and existing satellite data wasn’t detailed enough for local applications such as hurricane preparedness and mitigation. The Event 38 team joined PLACE to provide training on using and maintaining the drone, which the team used to map two entire islands.

The E400 gave the Turks and Caicos government the accuracy and resolution of data it needed to green-light multiple critical projects, including a major upgrade to the property tax system and improved climate mitigation modeling and planning. The data is already being used for the upcoming census and other key activities.

Event 38 is working on additional modifications to the E400 to support PLACE and other future customers. “Based on what we learned during our time in Turks and Caicos with PLACE, we’re making a lot of exciting modifications to both the E400 and the workflow to make the entire platform better suited to remote locations, where there may be limited cell service, repair facilities, and accessible weather data,” said Taylor. “We’ve already invested in a lighter carrying case and an ADS-B transponder and improved the image geotagging workflow for large missions, and further upgrades are in the works.”

PLACE has already purchased two additional E400s.

“Event 38 is incredibly proud to be supporting PLACE’s important work and mission,” Taylor said. “We look forward to seeing what our other clients do with the E400.”

Cloud Ground Control Enables Remote Monitoring and Control of Unlimited Uncrewed Systems with New Micro-modem

CGConnect is transforming robotic vehicles across air, land and sea into a connected autonomous fleet

Cloud Ground Control robotic fleet management platform

Cloud Ground Control, developed by Advanced Navigation, has announced the launch of its cellular micro-modem CGConnect. Using 4G/5G networks, CGConnect links any uncrewed vehicle to Cloud Ground Control’s cloud-based drone fleet management platform, enabling live-streaming, command and control from a web browser.

Cloud Ground Control is a SaaS platform that supports multi-user and multi-vehicle operations, making it ideal for robotic enterprises with a myriad of robotic fleets for emergency, security, construction, asset inspection, agriculture and environmental purposes.

Fast track into the cloud with CGConnect

“Enterprises who rely on drones and robotics for business operation often own a diverse range of uncrewed vehicles that may not be compatible with one another. CGConnect is designed to solve this pain point by linking them to the Cloud Ground Control platform, regardless of manufacturer or model, turning them into a holistic, connected fleet,” said Michal Weiss, Head of Product at Cloud Ground Control.

CGConnect micro cellular modem

Plug and play connectivity

Using CGConnect, remote users gain instant access to Cloud Ground Control’s rich features, including real-time telemetry, cloud storage, video and payload data, all from a web browser simultaneously. Weighing only 55 grams with similar sizing to a credit card, CGConnect is easily integrated into any product design, offering the following benefits:

  • Open platform – The flexible and customisable open platform operates on the MAVLink standard. This multiplies potential product applications and enables diverse autonomous vehicles and payloads to operate as a coordinated fleet.
  • Robotic agnostic – Works flexibly with open-sourced libraries and is agnostic to the type of technology and vehicle enterprises may wish to use.
  • White labelled: Available as a white label product, allowing users to rebrand the user interface in seconds to complement business branding and coding requirements.
  • High-grade security – Utilises military-grade encryption and authentication to safeguard data and IP from vulnerabilities and security breaches, helping users meet compliance obligations.
  • Simple and accessible – Revolutionises multi-drone operation by making it simple, cost effective and accessible to users of every skill grade.
  • AI modelling – The platform runs AI algorithms in the cloud, relaying real-time camera feed data to the end user to support versatile missions, such as object detection, tracking and thermal imaging.
  • Edge AI – CGConnect supports edge AI to perform intensive object identification and classification directly on the vehicle for dynamic missions.
CGConnect cellular micro-modem, limitless robotic connections

Unlock new markets

Integrating CGConnect into a vehicle’s design expands the product’s functionality and applications while saving development time. This allows manufacturers to fine-tune the product’s competitive advantage, expanding the robot’s potential and ultimately unlocking access to new markets.

Cloud Ground Control helped Clean Earth Rovers transform its Rover AVPros into an autonomous connected fleet. By integrating CGConnect, Clean Earth Rovers were able to provide customers with real-time situational awareness, allowing for enlightened decisions and greatly accelerating recovery efforts in ocean health. Discover the integration here.

For more information, visit www.cloudgroundcontrol.com/manufacturers.

Specialized Energy Sector Law-Tech Connect™ Workshop to Premier at 7th Annual Energy Drone & Robotics Summit in 2023

Colorado-based P3 Tech Consulting LLC announces that it has partnered with the Energy Drone and Robotics Coalition (EDRC) to bring its world-class Law-Tech Connect™ Workshop (LTCW) platform to EDRC’s annual Summit this year. This co-located event will take place on Monday, June 12th at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott in Houston, Texas.

P3 Tech is a veteran and woman owned business led by Dawn Zoldi (Colonel, USAF Retired), a licensed attorney and globally renowned industry expert. The company successfully launched its first LTCW at AUVSI Xponential 2022 in Orlando, Florida last year. It has plans in the works for Xponential 2023 (May 8, Denver), in addition to this specialized energy sector edition at EDRC at the 7th Annual Energy Drone & Robotics Summit.

EDRC’s Summit is the most influential gathering of industrial, energy and engineering leaders in the world where the key challenges and solutions are addressed for operating drones, satellites, and robotics successfully, from the stars to the sea floor.

Every year, EDRC’s three-day event attracts, connects and informs thousands of worldwide industrial uncrewed leaders in the rapidly growing energy sector. Stakeholders gain valuable insights into the business and technology of uncrewed systems, automation and data/AI in energy operations. The Summit includes an expo hall, educational sessions, demonstrations, 1:1 meetings, networking events and co-located events. The LTCW-Energy Edition will be one of those co-located events.

The programmed half-day Workshop the Summit will provide dynamic energy sector-specific legal/regulatory/policy educational content relating to multi-domain autonomous systems and related technologies utilized in energy.

P3 Tech gears these events towards a broad audience of uncrewed ecosystem industry leaders, operators, attorneys, academia, government agencies and nonprofits.

EDRC Managing Director, Sean Guerre, said, “At EDRC, we have historically focused on innovating energy operations with dynamic UAV, robotics, data and automation solutions. We are ecstatic to bring Law-Tech Connect, with an energy focus in the legal, regulatory and policy arena, to our event this year. This is a natural progression for us as we continue to build out our content and expand our network in the energy sector!”

Zoldi plans to curate another top-tier lineup of commercial industry, academic and attorney speakers. LTCW-Energy agenda topics will cover key legal issues relating to maritime environments, methane compliance, beyond visual line of sight operations and critical infrastructure security. It is anticipated that the workshop will qualify as a Texas Bar-accredited Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program (4 credits).

Stay tuned for more information in the months to follow. In the meantime, individuals or companies interested in sponsoring should email info@p3techconsulting.com.

Textron Systems’ Aerosonde Expands to More Ships; VTOL Capability Could Add More

Textron Systems’ vertical takeoff and landing HQ Aerosonde 20. Photo courtesy of Textron Systems.

Textron Systems’ Aerosonde unmanned aircraft has seen its use on Navy ships expand over the past year, and its maritime presence could increase further with the vertical takeoff and landing system for the Aerosonde that could see it find a home on a wider variety of vessels.

In just over a year, “we have grown from one ship to four active Navy vessels, two ESB-class [Expeditionary Sea Base] ships and two DDG-class [Destroyer] ships,” said Wayne Prender, Textron’s senior vice president of Air Systems.

The Aerosonde operations are done on a fee-for-service basis, flying traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions but also flying a variety of other multi-intelligence missions such as conducting wide-area searches and carrying synthetic aperture radar.

“It is at the hands of that ship’s commander and the Sailors on board that ship operating the missions how they configure that UAS for whatever mission they need,” Prender told Inside Unmanned Systems.

He said Aerosonde has a couple of big advantages for Navy ships: Its Lycoming EL-005 engine uses heavy fuel, like most everything else on a ship, so it reduces the logistical burden, and its support systems, including its recovery net, can be quickly set up and integrated on Navy ships.

“We’ve really honed our ability to rapidly deploy, install this system, qualify it on that specific ship and almost immediately showcase our ability to provide real-world, operational relevance right off the bat,” Prender said. “After now going through four ships, in close coordination with the Navy it, is practically plug and play.”

Going Vertical

The company also recently qualified its relatively new Hybrid Quad system, which adds propellers to give the Aerosonde the ability to take off and land vertically. (The system is also of interest to the U.S. Army; in March, Textron Systems was one of five companies selected to develop prototypes for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System Increment 2.)

VTOL capability lessens the Aerosonde’s footprint further and “opens up additional mission sets and additional host ships that may not have the space or infrastructure for launch and recover equipment,” Prender said.

Textron Systems recently completed some pre-deployment exercises in anticipation of pending Navy operations that could call for such a capability.

“Really, the main benefit is it’s going to open up [Aerosonde operations] for ships with smaller decks, with smaller hangars, and more constrained physical footprints,” Prender said. It would also enable a system to be swapped from one ship to another more rapidly or even offloaded to a land-based location.

The VTOL version also provides a new capability in which the Navy has shown recent interest: Cargo delivery.

“The ability that VTOL is going to provide is the ability to take off from one ship, transit either to another ship or a land-based location, drop off some critical components, and then re-take off, where maybe launch and recovery equipment is not pre-positioned,” Prender said.

He said the Navy has been recovering UAS from ships for decades, but the idea of using VTOL systems for cargo delivery is relatively new, and one the Navy will need to develop concepts of operations (CONOPS) and tactics, techniques and procedures for “as they progress them toward more operational, real-world mission sets.”

Asked if the development of VTOL systems is the result of Navy demand, Prender said, “I think it’s a meeting of the minds. Certainly, we understand through our conversations, reading their source documents, listening to them as we operate side by side for over 20 years, how their mission set is changing, how their CONOPS and the INDOPACOM [U.S. Indo-Pacific Command] fight, and other maritime fights, regardless of the region, are going to necessitate a change in how UAS operate. We kind of foreshadowed what was going to happen, we started working on it, meanwhile through their exercises and wargames, they have also determined that this capability is something they need in their arsenal.”

FLARES adds VTOL to Insitu’s Integrator

Insitu’s new Flying Launch and Recovery System enables the Integrator vehicle to operate VTOL. Photo courtesy of Insitu.

On the ground, it looks like a giant spider pouncing on its prey. But once airborne, Insitu’s latest VTOL system supports a unique paired solution that’s being offered to the U.S. Navy and other customers.

In this iteration, Insitu’s Flying Launch and Recovery System (FLARES) octocopter is a VTOL mothership that launches the company’s Integrator fixed-wing vehicle. Integrator itself is essentially unchanged, but using FLARES provides maximum payload capacity and endurance of 40 pounds and 16 hours—one customer recently ran a 25-hour operational sortie with Integrator. FLARES’ power flexibilty, robustness and redundancy can handle challenging weather conditions while performing signals intelligence, electronic warfare and other missions.

The runway-independent combination also spares users from having to deploy complex launch and recovery equipment.

The mated system is being spotlit on April 3 at the start of Sea-Air-Space, the Navy League’s global maritime exposition, at National Harbor, Maryland. A few days before its debut, Insitu Vice President, Engineering Justin Pearce fleshed out its evolution and operation.

FLARES has gone through eight-plus years of development, Pearce said, including with Insitu’s million-plus fight-hour ScanEagle UAS. “We have pneumatic launchers and vertical arresting ropes called SkyHook that have done really well for our customers. But we recognize the need for mobility and to be more expeditionary. Our customers’ requirements seem to be driving us to longer endurance, more SWaP [size, weight and power] and, obviously, with the national defense strategy’s pivot to the Pacific, mobility off ships with that long endurance. Integrator’s clearly the platform we’d leverage there.”

VTOL Virtuosity

The 12-year Insitu veteran described how the system deploys. Carrying Integrator, FLARES takes off vertically, rises to 500 or so feet, dashes forward, and then releases Integrator into fixed-wing flight. “The recovery,” Pearce added, “is similar if not identical to our current method, with a vertical rope for arresting the vehicle in flight. With that rope tethered to the deck, FLARES climbs 300ish feet, the aircraft approaches from whatever direction it needs to, recovers on that rope, and then is oriented vertically as it’s lowered back down.” The process also attenuates shipboard motion.

FLARES itself isn’t a new concept, but Insitu has worked with launch and recovery specialists Hood Tech Mechanical to develop its VTOL applications. “In combination with Integrator, it offers incredible endurance and allows us to operate off relatively small decks,” Pearce said. We’re emphasizing Integrator’s max takeoff weight of 165 pounds—you can imagine that allows a significant increase in both fuel and or payload, and therefore endurance or capability.” Multiple payloads can be used.

There’s also the Integrator Extended Range (ER), a SATCOM-enabled version. “We replaced the nose module that today would have the EO/IR or other sensor with a radio-slash-datalink for SATCOM communications, and the EO/IR sensor is placed in the center-of-gravity bay,” Pearce said. The package can operate beyond line of slight up to 300 to 500 nautical miles, within the footprint of the geosynchronous satellite spot.

Current users of Integrator who operate standard launch and recovery equipment, Pearce said, could buy the VTOL portion and add it to their current kit. New customers could purchase Integrator VTOL as a standalone system. “It’s really mix and match, and leverages our modularity.”

Pearce summed up the case for FLARES. “We believe there’s a market for long-range long-endurance platforms capable of multi-mission up to and including targeting. And our belief is that it’s going to need to come from the sea, given the set of threats America and her allies face. To do that, we believe you have to have no-compromised VTOL. And that’s what FLARES gets you: amply-sized, safe VTOL while retaining all the investment in the Integrator platform. Because of the way we launch, we believe that you’re going to have a notch above sea state or ship motion compared with other platforms.

“We’re going to see high seas and long endurance as a future, and we’re ready to support that.”

Flytrex Releases 2022 Drone Delivery Customer Trends

A Flytrex drone makes a delivery. Photo courtesy of Flytrex.

Flytrex has released its 2022 yardstick detailing customer trends across its drone delivery service in North Carolina and Texas.

The yardstick is based on 2022 data from Flytrex’s operations and highlights the company’s achievements, from volume and types of items delivered to fastest time from order to delivery. With a rapidly growing list of collaborations with leading national restaurant and retail chains, Flytrex increased its customer base seven-fold year-over-year and completed tens of thousands of deliveries in 2022.
Highlights from the 2022 Ultrafast Drone Delivery Yardstick:

• Flytrex delivered more than 85,000 items by drone across 21,350 orders.
• The average time from takeoff to delivery was 3:32 minutes.
• The fastest time from order to delivery was 12:13 minutes.
• On Oct. 14, Flytrex had a record high volume of one order every five minutes.
• Flytrex had over 4,000 unique users in 2022, a 765% increase from 2021.
• Flytrex’s biggest fan placed a total of 532 orders last year.

Sandwiches and salads made up almost a fifth, or 19.8%, of restaurant orders, with chicken and wings coming in a close second at 18.5%. The largest order was stacked with three tomato soups and one noodle soup, two Cobb salads with chicken, two BLTs and 2.5 cheese sandwiches, the company said.

“The drone delivery industry as a whole has progressed immensely over the past year, and this snapshot is a testament to its soaring future,” said Yariv Bash, CEO and cofounder of Flytrex. “We strive to provide the utmost convenience and satisfaction to everyone who uses our service, and we’re thrilled to see that our customers are as delighted and excited about drone delivery as we are. Building on this momentum, we look forward to expanding our service and eventually providing the same level of quality practicality across suburban America.”

The 2022 Yardstick’s release follows a year of significant expansion and growth for Flytrex. In March 2022, the company expanded its service from North Carolina to Granbury, Texas, just outside of Dallas-Fort Worth. In July 2022, Flytrex opened its fifth operational station, launching in Durham, North Carolina, alongside established stations in Fayetteville, Raeford, and Holly Springs. Flytrex serves over 140,000 eligible customers across suburban America, delivering food and retail goods from dozens of partnering restaurant chains and retailers.

The 2022 Yardstick is available here.

AeroVironment Introduces Switchblade 300 Block 20 Rapidly Deployable Loitering Missile System

AeroVironment’s new Switchblade 300 Block 20 builds upon the system’s battle proven performance. Credit: AeroVironment, Inc.

AeroVironment today unveiled the newest version of its Switchblade® 300 rapidly deployable loitering missile system. The Switchblade 300 Block 20 builds on Block 10C’s battle-proven performance with new operational features and significant performance and capability improvements.

Switchblade 300 Block 20 is portable, lightweight, and easy to operate, requiring only a single operator. The new tablet-based Fire Control System allows operators to easily train, plan, and execute missions. Operation of the system is further simplified by offering an integrated control directly onto the launcher tube.

“Since pioneering the loitering missile category with Switchblade 300 more than a decade ago, our tactical missile systems have proven to be a game-changing capability for both U.S. and allied forces, providing a remarkably rapid, precise and effective way to address lethal threats,” said Brett Hush, AeroVironment’s vice president and product line general manager of tactical missile systems. “Switchblade 300 Block 20 will continue to build on the system’s battle-proven legacy.”

Weighing just under five pounds, this lightweight, precision-guided lethal missile can be deployed in less than two minutes via tube-launch from land, sea, or mobile platforms, providing greater mission flexibility. The Switchblade 300 Block 20 features a longer endurance, improved Digital Data Link (DDL) range, new EO/IR panning camera suite, and left-hand commit with continuous positive identification (PID). Like its predecessor, Switchblade 300 Block 20 maintains its patented wave-off capability, enabling the operator to recommit against moving targets in highly dynamic environments.

The Switchblade 300 Block 20 provides small expeditionary units with stand-alone precision and lethal effects with minimal collateral effects. Delivering 20-plus minutes of tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition, the Switchblade 300 Block 20 provides real-time video for use against beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) targets. Cursor-on-Target GPS coordinates provide situational awareness, information collection, targeting and feature/object recognition, that together will deliver the actionable intelligence and precision firepower needed to achieve mission success across multiple domains.

Aeronautics Signs Deal for Production of Orbiter 4 in Thailand

Officials from Aeronautics Group and RV Connex at the agreement signing. Photo courtesy of Aeronautics Group.

Israel-based Aeronautics Group has signed a collaboration agreement with one of the leading defense companies in Thailand, RV Connex, for in-country production of its Orbiter 4 tactical UAV.

Local production will serve the interests of customers of both companies in the Asian Pacific region. Aeronautics will transfer knowledge for production of the system—including the air vehicle, its sub-systems and its ground support system—which the company offers its customers worldwide. In addition, local flight crews will be trained to perform various flight operations and lead training programs for local clients.

“The collaboration agreement with RV Connex, a company with an excellent reputation in the Asian market, is another pillar in the significant growth of Aeronautics in the past three years,” said Gilad Landsberg, vice president and head of the Tactical & MALE UAS Division at Aeronautics. “RV Connex provides a precise answer to the needs of the Asian defense market. Together with Aeronautics’ advanced and proven solutions, this is a partnership that will enable a leap forward in Aeronautics’ business activities in the Asia Pacific region.”

“I am happy about the deepening of the alliance between the two companies,” said Peeraphon Trakulchang, vice president at RV Connex. “This collaboration is a landmark event for both of us—a significant step forward in our long-standing relationship, and in particular, our continued commitment and dedication towards effectively developing our local capabilities to serve Aeronautics’ end users, not only in Thailand, but also in the neighboring regions.”

Airwayz, Royal NLR Partner to Accelerate Drone U-Space Adoption Across Europe

Airwayz CEO Eyal Zor, right, shakes hands with Henk van Dijk, VP of aerospace operations of Royal NLR, after signing their collaborative partnership agreement. Photo courtesy of Airwayz.

AMSTERDAM—Umanned traffic management (UTM) provider Airwayz announced it is collaborating with the Netherlands Aerospace Center to support drone traffic management across Europe.

The partnership will see Airwayz and NLR combine efforts to perform trials, research best practice and accelerate research and development. Combining NLR’s expertise in air traffic management with Airwayz’ UTM system provides a framework for U-spaces, Airwayz’ terminology for UTM-supported flight areas.

NLR is an independent innovative research center for the aerospace industry, working to solve global airspace issues, and plays a pivotal role between science, industry, government and society. Israel-based Airwayz’ dynamic UTM-unmanned systems service provider software monitors and coordinates multiple fleets of drones in real time, using proprietary artificial intelligence to ensure safe and efficient commercial drone activities.

Airwayz’ partnership with NLR signifies new levels of commercial opportunity for drone ecosystems, the companies said.

Airwayz and NLR are already cooperating on multiple projects for air navigation service providers. Additionally, both Airwayz and NLR are active at the Port of Rotterdam, with Airwayz spearheading the creation of a safe and efficient U-Space across the port for commercial drone services to flourish.

“We’re excited to announce the official signing of our collaboration with NLR today at Amsterdam Drone Week,” said Airwayz CEO and co-founder Eyal Zor. “We have many ground-breaking projects in the pipeline. Our partnership signifies the next level of airspace management; combining manned and unmanned traffic management and pursuing urban air mobility operations will revolutionize the industry and keep our airspaces safe across urban areas whilst they develop. The commercial potential will expand the capabilities of commercial drone services and drastically change how we all view our skies.”