By Masayuki Kumada
The revised Civil Aeronautics Act, which came into effect in December 2022, has laid the foundations for “Level 4” drone flight, and expectations are rising for drones to be able to operate “beyond visual line of sight” and “fully autonomously.”
Drones are currently being used in fields such as aerial photography, agriculture, surveying, and some inspections, but by becoming capable of “beyond visual line of sight” and “fully automatic operation,” drones can be used for material transportation, inspections, and other purposes. Further use is expected in areas such as patrolling.
In cases such as aerial photography, agriculture, and surveying, where the main service is for operators to manually fly drones within visual line of sight, drones’ takeoffs and landings are of little concern in terms of operations, but society is facing a declining population and a shortage of workers. The issue is becoming more and more obvious, and in areas such as “goods transportation,” “inspection,” and “patrol work,” which require “beyond visual line of sight” and “fully automatic” drone services, it is important to pay close attention to the “takeoff and landing” of drones. This will require a service design that meets the needs of the customer.
When a drone is operated “beyond visual line of sight” or “fully automatic,” it must not only fly, but also take off and land safely and automatically in locations where the operator is not present. ”, “charging” the aircraft and “confirming the safety” of the surrounding area are extremely important.
Against this background, Blue Innovation has developed a “Drone Port System” where self-developed drones take off and land, and provides it as “BEP Port.”
“BEP Port” focuses on the “Drone Port Information Management System” developed by our company, and collaborates with and integrates various manufacturers of drone ports (drone take-off and landing sites) and peripheral equipment (environment sensors, surveillance cameras, etc.). We offer
By introducing and installing a “BEP port”, it is possible to “charge” the drone and “monitor” takeoff and landing, improving the “safety” of “beyond visual line of sight” and “fully automatic” services.
What is Blue Innovation’s “Drone Port Information Management System”?
The “Drone Port Information Management System *1 ” developed in-house by Blue Innovation can be used to connect external systems such as drone ground stations (GCS: Ground Control System *2 ), traffic management systems (UTMs: UAS Traffic Management System *3 ), etc. ) and API (Application Program Interface), and is the world’s first drone port information management system (VIS: Vertiport Information System *4 ) that complies with the international standard “ISO5491”.
*2 GCS (Ground Control System): A land or sea control center that provides equipment for human control of drones. .
*3 UTMs: UAS Traffic Management System: A management system that enables safe and efficient operation in an environment beyond visual line of sight, even in airspace with multiple drone operators.
The connected drone port and surrounding sensor hardware can be selected according to the drone used and customer needs, and the main functions are as follows.
■“Drone port remote monitoring function”
Remotely monitor the operating status of multiple drone ports in real time
■ “Peripheral device remote monitoring function”
Remote monitoring of the operating status of peripheral devices such as weather sensors and intrusion detection sensors in real time
■“Drone port remote control function”
Drone port opening/closing control and automatic opening/closing control by linking with other systems
■“Take-off and landing decision support function”
Supports drone take-off and landing decisions based on information on the drone port and peripheral devices
■“Information transmission and acquisition function with external systems”
Links with external systems such as UTM and GCS to transmit and acquire necessary information.
■ “Management screen for drone port operators” A
management screen for drone port operators to operate drone ports safely and appropriately
• Check the reservation status, operating status, and flight plan of each drone port
• Operating status of peripheral devices , confirmation of measurement results using peripheral devices, provision of judgment information,
confirmation of safety around takeoff and landing locations
, confirmation of takeoff and landing status
, remote drone port operation
, remote drone port control in case of emergency.
■Various API maintenance
In the future, “beyond visual line of sight” and “fully automatic operation” of drones, the “takeoff and landing” of drones will be extremely important.
Blue Innovation’s Drone Port Information Management System was designed and developed to focus on this important aspect and improve safety and efficiency.
“BEP Port” has the flexibility to handle projects of any size. We believe that by utilizing “BEP Port” together with various partner companies, we can realize the early social implementation of safe, secure, and efficient “beyond visual line of sight” and “fully automated” drone operations.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Mr Masayuki Kumada joined Blue Innovation in April 2011 after working at Fujisoft Co., Ltd. Current position since March 2017. In addition to directing the overall development of the Blue Earth Platform (BEP), which controls and manages multiple drones and robots, he is also working on developing the SC16 (Unmanned Aircraft System) at the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) towards the international standardization of aviation-related standards. ) expert, SC17 (airport infrastructure) expert and vertiport (vertical takeoff and landing airport) project leader. He graduated from the Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science.