HHLA Sky and Iris Automation Team on New Solutions for Large-Scale Drone Collision Avoidance ‒ Beyond Visual Line of Sight

Nov 30, 2021

Increases safety when manned and unmanned aircraft share same airspace

Hamburg, Germany + Reno, Nevada (30th November, 2021) Two leading developers of innovative drone technology, Germany-based HHLA Sky and US-based Iris Automation, announce an international partnership. By integrating their unique technologies, they improve two of the current most challenging tasks in drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS): to remotely, globally and simultaneously control over 100 industrial drones from a centralized control center – while increasing local air space safety by detecting and avoiding other unmanned or manned aircraft.

Merging HHLA Sky’s drone control center software with Iris Automation’s ground-based aircraft detection technology Casia G, opens up a whole new spectrum of use cases for industrial and security related drone operations. These include security surveillance tasks at ports, critical infrastructures, border control and oil and gas industry as well as (intra)logistics, surveying and asset inspections.

HHLA Sky’s unique drone control center was developed as the first end-to-end solution for large-scale, industrial and security drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The innovative IoT platform connects, and controls unmanned systems. It allows complete management, monitoring, and reporting across all aspects and tasks of over 100 industrial drones simultaneously – from one integrated control center that can be operated globally. Drones securely connected with this IoT platform can carry out a wide range of assignments, e.g. transmitting real-time video feeds and collecting structured and repeatable data. The IoT platform has cyber security built into its core and offers broad analysis and auditing features.

Credit: Nele Martensen (HHLA)

Iris Automation’s innovative Casia G solution is an autonomous ground-based aircraft detection technology. The computer vision system monitors aviation environments to detect, classify and – if necessary – alert UAV pilots to crewed aircraft that pose a risk to drone operations. Using Casia G, remote pilots and their teams may react to otherwise undetectable non-cooperative aircraft (those without transponders or ADS-B and therefore not broadcasting their location). Networking Casia G nodes provide unlimited coverage to protect critical infrastructure, regardless of size.

credit: Virginia Tech

Quote from Matthias Gronstedt, CEO of research and development at HHLA Sky

“As our customers’ drone operations grow, safety must scale with it. The ability of Casia G to detect non-cooperative air traffic and provide essential data to the HHLA Sky system, gives us the opportunity to add yet another crucial level of safety. This is an important development – both for us and our customers. We are looking forward to offering a truly innovative but affordable BVLOS solution on an industrial scale. Iris Automation’s regulatory expertise and work with bodies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also provides an important added value for us and our partnership.”

Quote from Jon Damush, CEO, Iris Automation

“One-to-many operations are a key enabler to realizing the true economic potential of drones. Doing it safely is critical to sustainability of the ecosystem. Automatic traffic awareness supports safe, scalable, commercial operations the HHLA Sky system is designed to unlock.”

Please note: HHLA Sky and Iris Automation intend to host a closed demonstration event, showcasing the integration of both technologies in the Spring of 2022. Interested parties may request an invitation at https://www.irisonboard.com/iris-hhla-demo-event/.


About HHLA Sky

Founded in 2018 in Hamburg, Germany, HHLA Sky is a 100% subsidiary of the Hamburger Hafen Logistik AG (HHLA) – a leading European logistics company, with a long-standing history of well over a century. Together with its clients, the parent company HHLA develops logistics and digital hubs for the transport flows of the future. In doing so, it focuses on innovative technologies and sustainable solutions. The demanding harbor environment in Hamburg was the defining setting for initial concepts of HHLA Sky and aided in continual refinement of its unique drone control center. HHLA Sky is headquartered in Hamburg – and proud winner of the German Innovation Award 2021. For more info visit www.hhla-sky.de

About Iris Automation

Iris Automation is a safety avionics technology company pioneering on- and off-board perception systems and aviation policy services that enable customers to build scalable operations for crewed and uncrewed aircraft, unlocking the potential of countless industries. Iris’ Casia system runs either onboard the aircraft or in a ground-based configuration. We work closely with civil aviation authorities globally as they implement regulatory frameworks ensuring BVLOS is conducted safely, partnering on multiple FAA ASSURE and BEYOND UAS Integration Programs and Transport Canada’s BVLOS Technology Demonstration Program. For more info visit www.irisonboard.com