Canadian UAVs and Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide an unmanned traffic management solution for beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Lockheed explains this solution will build a complete airspace picture necessary to conduct unmanned operations beyond visual line of sight in Canada and beyond.
Canadian UAVs is a military-grade unmanned aviation services company based in Calgary, Alberta. The company provides surveillance, monitoring, training, and reporting for commodity-based operations, utilities, military and real estate through UAVs. CUAVS states that in 2018 it became the first company in Canadian history to fly BVLOS as part of Transport Canada’s BVLOS Task Force trials.
“A complete airspace picture is an absolutely necessity to conduct unmanned flights beyond visual line of sight,” said Dustin Engen, business development manager for Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems. “When combined, Canadian UAV’s Sparrowhawk radar and our VCSi product will offer all users this complete picture and provide the necessary situational awareness for BVLOS flights in Canada and abroad.”
Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems will provide integration support for the vehicle control station software called VCSi, a universal Ground Control System based on more than 1.5 million flight hours in military and commercial flight operations.
Canadian UAVs will integrate its low-cost, ground-based radar, Sparrowhawk, into VCSi to provide users with a complete airspace picture of manned and unmanned aviation tracking with collision avoidance. Sparrowhawk was used in Canadian UAVs’ first permitted BVLOS flights outside of restricted airspace. The company will also develop hardware and artificial intelligence software as part of Project Skysensus, a five-year investment from Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefit (ITB) Policy.
“With Canadian UAVs’ advanced market position in BVLOS operations, we are seeing a lot of gaps in what the general market offers to solve fundamental technological issues in unmanned aviation,” said Sean Greenwood, president of Canadian UAVs. “As a result, we developed a technology roadmap that invests in a comprehensive toolset to increase flight safety and repeatability as these operations increase in volume and airspace complexity. We have been working with Lockheed Martin CDL Systems for several years and we are very excited by this agreement to formalize the relationship.”