Leading developer of uncrewed air traffic management (UTM) systems Altitude Angel says it is partnering with military and civil aviation hardware and tech unit Saab to integrate navigational assets for safe aerial flight of both uncrewed and piloted vehicles into the Swedish company’s r-TWR Digital Tower platform.
UK-based Altitude Angel has been at the forefront of developing UTM systems uniting various stakeholders and operators of traditional air traffic management (ATM) on the one hand, with those of emerging aircraft technologies on the other. The aim is to harmonize flight of piloted planes with those of drones and future lower-level altitude passenger craft like electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxis in compatible – or better still, unified – navigational platforms.
Altitude Angel is now taking that effort a step farther by providing its tech to Saab’s Digital Towers, which enable, integrate, and automate a range of airport activities, including ground and air traffic display and electronic flight strips.
Saab calls its r-TWR Digital Tower a flexible and scalable platform that builds on its existing video processing, visual presentation, and automation solutions. It offers a broad range of use cases, and is already in operation at civil and military airports in Sweden, UK, US, and Germany, and being implemented at facilities in Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, and Romania.
Under their partnership, Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM system will be added to the array of capabilities provided by Saab’s r-TWR Digital Towers. Those will permit air navigation service providers (ANSP) and designated stakeholders to digitally authorize and manage uncrewed flights in coordination with those of piloted craft.
The unified asset will enable direct communication of required flight authorizations and mid-air instructions to craft, and offer enhanced situational awareness of drone operations related to other airspace traffic.
The official wedding of Altitude Angel and its GuardianUTM tech with Saab’s r-TWRs deepens a relationship that began in 2015, when the first Digital Tower was installed at the Ornskoldsvik airport Sundsvall, Sweden, for operation as a remote control facility.
“We’ve been working with Saab Tower Systems and Saab for some time, and I’m excited to announce the formal partnership agreement,” said Altitude Angel chief business officer Richard Ellis.
“Our partnership with Saab allows us to seamlessly fuse cutting-edge ATM and UTM technologies in one innovative offering reducing time, effort, and complexity for airports, ANSPs, and drone operators to safely carry out operations integrated into the airspace,” he added. “Through the integration of GuardianUTM, Saab will be able to provide Digital Towers which are equipped and ready for the demands of our future skies, as the use of drones increases and Urban Air Mobility through eVTOL aircraft becomes a day-to-day occurrence.”