Advances in RPAS Sector

Since the beginning of 2020, LOOKNorth and its partner network have been successful across a variety of projects within the remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) sector. Furthermore, much of this has been achieved in spite of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One such achievement is in our work with Newfoundland & Labrador-based SME Solace Power, focused on enabling autonomous UAV flight/BVLOS capacity for the resource sector. The project saw successful implementation of a prototype wireless charging system (Equus) that allows drones to travel longer distances and autonomously inspect hard-to-reach locations. With a 200W wireless charge, this is ideal for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. Prototypes were developed, manufactured and tested in successful field trials, with simulations confirming SAR compliance. In addition, Solace gained an interested partner with India’s Asteria Aerosapce/Reliance Industries.

Another project that saw numerous milestones was flight trials held with Alberta-based UAV firm Air Market, intended to enhance Arctic BVLOS flight capabilities by means of the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) platform. To date, this project has delivered two integrated hardware/software drone tracking components certified for use on the TELUS cellular network, with additional work being undertaken on a third component. It has also consolidated 4G/Long-Term Evolution services with UTM platform software, while establishing reference architecture and a technology roadmap. All of these innovations subsequently coincide with TELUS services & infrastructure for full drone compatibility.

Finally, we have been collaborating with Manitoba’s Aurora Aerial on integrating an optionally piloted aerial system for RPAS. This partnership has pioneered BVLOS-enabling technologies for C2 (command and control), navigation and other needed capabilities hat had not even been identified before attempting the trials in downtown Toronto.