Aviation Safety: Raising the Bar for Industrial Drone Operations

Nov 30, 2021

Guest post by Matthias Gronstedt – CEO. HHLA Sky GmbH

Since its inception, development and integration within live port operations in Hamburg, the HHLA Sky scaleable and industrial drone solution has continued to mature exponentially.

Our unique, first of a kind system allows for an infinite number of industrial drones to operate through a central control center via LTE or 5G around the globe.

Developed from the ground up by our dedicated software and hardware engineering teams, the system is providing extremely compelling use cases in live operations – from intralogisitcs through to security, facilities monitoring, asset inspections to name but a few, whilst at the same time delivering vast improvements to bottom line efficiency, onsite safety and productivity.

Creating an industrial, globally capable system on this scale was no easy task. Many crucial factors had to be considered.

Software integrity, adaptability, mission planning, execution and auditability were all key considerations together with data/cyber security, and of course, most importantly aviation safety.

The system was designed with manned aviation safety protocols in mind, allowing us to design in a system of checks and cross checks to ensure and enhance situational awareness, especially when operating in congested or controlled airspace. Our system ensures visibility of local weather, NOTAMs and electronically conspicous live air traffic (ADS-B) alongside live martime traffic via AIS signatures.

We achieved proud recognition of our efforts in 2021 with the German Innovation Award.

In the spirit of continuous improvement and development the HHLA Sky team identified the need to detect and avoid non-conspicuous air traffic. The challenge of being able to sense and avoid non ADS-B air traffic whilst operating in a beyond visual line of sight (BLVOS) environment is key to raising the bar in terms of aviation safety.

Enter Iris Automation – Casia G.

Subsequent to recent technical discussions, HHLA Sky and Iris Automation are delighted to announce their collaborative approach to further enhancing aviation safety.

The ability of Casia G to detect non-cooperative air traffic and send essential alerting data to the HHLA sky system gives us the opportunity to add yet another crucial level of safety.

Being able to detect, react, and avoid other air users in BVLOS environments will go a long way to further enhancing an already very safe and extremely capable industrial drone solution.

Further integration trials and testing will be taking place in the coming weeks and we plan to offer client demonstration workshops very shortly afterwards.

Matthias Gronstedt