Canadian technology assists with beyond-line-of-sight operations

By Patrick C. Miller | June 11, 2015

Canadian software company Kongsberg Gallium has developed a new safety display technology it says could dramatically expand the capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for commercial use.

Based in Ottawa, the company said its geospatial visualization technology—used by some military UAV programs—can give operators flying drones beyond line of sight the same level of situational awareness they’d have while flying a manned aircraft.

Kongsberg Gallium plans to demonstrate its new display platform in a series of flights in the second half of the year using a long-range UAV designed and manufactured by Brican Flight Systems of Brampton, Ontario.

According to Kongsberg Gallium, “Providing real-time awareness of other aircraft, airspace and terrain will be critical to allowing UAV operators to gain regulatory approval to conduct commercial operations beyond line of sight.”

Currently, UAVs can be flown for commercial purposes within sight of the operator, a restriction that places severe limits on the range and usefulness of UAVs for such commercial purposes applications as pipeline inspection or mineral exploration.

The company expects that when regulatory approval for beyond line-of-sight operations is granted, it will have a significant impact on the UAV industry, which is says has seen a tenfold growth since 2008.

“The revenues generated by the commercial UAV market will explode when beyond- line-of-sight operations are permissible and we feel this new safety display technology will be key to help operators to gain that approval” said Ranald McGillis, Kongsberg Gallium president.

Kongsberg Gallium—a subsidiary of Kongsberg Defence Systems—develops situational awareness and command and control software to develop high performance, real-time, mission critical applications. The company provides a range of customized solutions for customers worldwide.


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