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Microdrones: Connected to Safe Airspace Initiatives

Microdrones is very interested in what’s happening in the skies over Germany, as it has the potential to lay the framework for operating a UAV beyond visual line of sight. (BVLOS) Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), German Air Traffic Control, are working together to develop Connected Drones, a system to track and manage UAV traffic in German Airspace. 

Connected Drones allows UAV traffic, flying close to the ground, to connect to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic- Management (UTM,) that can locate, monitor and track drones connected over the Deutsche Telekom mobile network. 

One of the main challenges, once a UAV is airborne, is creating a safe and efficient means to operate the drone beyond visual line of sight. The remote controls used in current UAVs have limited reach due to a reliance on specific radio links or Wi-Fi. However, the Deutsche Telekom mobile network can provide the resources and infrastructure necessary to operate drones beyond visual line of sight and fly over longer distances.

This video demonstrates Drones connected: Safe and fair integration of drones via mobile network.

Being able to fly UAVs beyond line of sight would be a tremendous benefit for Microdrones. The mdLiDAR1000 could be used to create pointclouds of long corridors like power lines, roads or railways. The mdTector1000 CH4 could inspect miles of pipeline for methane leaks or hot spots, all without having to remain within line of sight.

Vivien Heriard-Dubreuil, President of Microdrones was excited at the prospect of integrating systems with Deutsche Telekom.  He explains, “For Microdrones, it’s the combination of two worlds that make the difference: software and hardware.  With our mdcockpit application, it’s very easy and precise to track the positioning of the drone, in real time, and relay that data to any interface for UTM.  Furthermore, the md4-1000 is the ideal UAS for jobs such as this, in that it is capable of extended flight periods, large payloads and very accurate control systems.” 

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