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Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No it's a Drone and Who's to Blame?

03 June 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

A service that is claimed to address the growing concerns in aviation safety from misuse of drones has been launched by a UK tech startup company.

Altitude Angel is a drone cloud services company offering what it terms as ‘enhanced situational awareness information, real-time air traffic control for drones as well as plug-in geofencing data targeted at manufacturers and developers.

It states it has now unveiled a global airspace monitoring system that claims to help drone operators fly more safely and responsibly called Airspace Alerts.

The new software enables drone operators to specify ‘alert regions’ that the cloud platform monitors in real-time for low-flying manned aircraft, proactively sending a ‘push notification’ via e-mail or SMS to the drone operator to ensure they have time to move out of the way safely. The service will soon also send out important weather information as well as alerts whenever no-fly zones are activated or deactivated.

Combined with its free Drone Safety Map that helps drone operators identify no-fly zones or ground hazards around the world before they ‘take to the skies’, Altitude Angel believes its new Airspace Alerts service will contribute towards the safer integration of drones with conventional aviation.

The technology watches aviation traffic globally in real-time, aggregating data from multiple sources. It receives around 12 million messages every minute, which are then filtered to provide updates on low-altitude air traffic (below 800m) – the kind that drone users need to be aware of.

“Once we have a filtered set of aircraft data, we perform analysis to determine if the aircraft’s trajectory is likely to encroach on an area our users are flying within and can tell the drone operator where to look – and when – to help them avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” explained Richard Parker, Founder and CE, Altitude Angel. “The majority of people want to ‘do the right thing’ and check for no-fly zones, obstacles and relevant regulations before they fly but many don’t have the training, time or even access to everything they’d need in order to make better safety choices. It’s the industry’s job to help solve this problem.”
The Altitude Angel team, made up of ex-Microsoft cloud services developers and consultants, created their own software and have spent more than six months testing as well as working with regulators, manufacturers and user groups across the USA and Europe.
Picture: Richard Parker, Altitude Angel – “The majority of people want to ‘do the right thing’....It’s the industry’s job to help solve this problem”


Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 03 June 2016


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