SkySensus announces selection for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) traffic management (RTM) services trials


SkySensus, an R&D project that is funded and led by Peraton Canada for the research and development, and commercialization of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) in unmanned systems, is proud to announce it was selected to fulfill Canada’s official Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Traffic Management (RTM) Service Trials.

The RTM Service Trails were granted to SkySensus, in partnership with Unifly, a global RTM solutions provider, to demonstrate their combined expertise in developing the requirements, performance levels  and deployment of services needed for Canada’s RPAS Traffic Management system.

“We are thrilled to partner with SkySensus as the consortium offers the expertise, experience, and technology components required to enable safe routine BVLOS operations. The vision and concrete implementation plan that SkySensus defined to enable complex operations will benefit not only Transport Canada and NAV CANADA, but also every RPAS operator willing to fly BVLOS in Canada in the future” said Laurent Huenaerts, VP & General Manager at Unifly Inc.

The RTM selection committee, a joint government and industry group co-led by Transport Canada and NAV CANADA, was established to create a roadmap for the development of RTM services in Canada. The goal is to develop an ecosystem of RTM services that can safely manage the integration of remotely piloted aircraft into Canadian airspace.

With features like RPAS tracking, remote identification, detect-and-avoid, and conflict resolution, these new technologies and RTM services will be introduced and rolled-out into use. The aim of the rollout is to facilitate the full integration of UAVs into a coordinated air traffic management system, and further the development of regulations for BVLOS operations.

“This is a significant win for SkySensus, to be singled out by the selection committee to contribute to the RTM trials is immense for SkySensus and the entire RPAS community” said Blair Boyd, SkySensus Program Manager at Peraton Canada. “The RTM services trials complement our current project focus on the BVLOS enablers of airworthiness, detect and avoid solutions and data analytics, all toward the development for safe RPAS operations to enable commercialization.”

RTM technology and services will be an enabler to the entire RPAS industry. The services being trialed will serve to aid in creation of a National RTM framework and assist industry and the regulators to advance the maturity of the entire industry.

“The advancement of RTM intelligence is a key component of our development of BVLOS regulations to support the RPAS industry in Canada.  The SkySensus team is well positioned to provide us with realistic RTM data and insights from their ongoing integrated BVLOS trials”. say Ryan Johnson of Transport Canada and Alan Chapman of NAV CANADA,  co-sponsors of the RTM trials. 

Conducting several simultaneous RPAS flights, SkySensus has successfully completed Phase I of the RTM trials at the Foremost UAS Test Range in southern Alberta on October 19th.  The initial trial demonstrated the RTM services deconfliction, and collected data from multiple BVLOS and manned aircraft operations. Phase II of the RTM trials is planned for early spring of 2021. The implementation of RTM in Canada is an important step in regulating the safe use of RPAS in Canadian airspace.  Transport Canada and NAV Canada’s implementation will focus on understanding the performance levels required of RTM services over the next year. There are close to 30 different services that are necessary to enable an RTM system, across the increasing complexity of airspace from rural to airport to urban. The main priority remains safety, and the technological innovation and industry expertise gained through the trials will assist with their implementation moving forward.