Altiscope releases blueprint for safe UAS integration

By Patrick C. Miller | September 05, 2018

Altiscope—the unmanned traffic management (UTM) group of A³ by Airbus—has released a “Blueprint for the Sky” to provide what it calls a roadmap for the safe integration of autonomous aircraft.

As one of the world’s top aircraft manufacturers, Airbus believes autonomous missions and flights will be possible only with UTM, which is core to the future of aircraft the company is designing, testing and building.

“A³’s mission is to develop innovative solutions to address the emergent needs of the aerospace industry, and the Blueprint is a great example of just that: well-informed industry leadership that brings about essential change while keeping safety at the forefront of every conversation,” said Rodin Lyasoff, A3 by Airbus CEO.

The Altiscope Blueprint is the result of months of analysis by Airbus on the future needs for the airspace, the widespread impact of coming changes and the development of the tools required for its enablement.

“The skies are busier than ever, but there is another change on the horizon,” said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO. “Soon, autonomous aircraft will be transporting people and goods all around the world.”

While Airbus welcomes the revolution, Enders said the shift to self- and remotely-piloted aircraft brings opportunities as well as risks that must be addressed. “Safety is not an afterthought in aerospace; it is a fundamental rule that cannot be compromised,” he explained. “The airspace of tomorrow can only deliver on its promise through collaboration—regulators, manufacturers, service providers, investors and consumers—all working together with a common understanding.”

The Airbus Blueprint has been reviewed by a number of independent parties, including representatives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the Global UTM Association (GUTMA), the World Economic Forum and the New Zealand Ministry of Transport.

Airbus said the reviewers were committed to industry-wide collaboration to ensure safe and successful management of the airspace of the future. The document is designed to foster discussion for decisionmakers to effect change as the industry evolves, and to support policies and rulemaking that can regulate autonomous operations to ensure that air transport remains safe today and for the future.

Altiscope’s team has professional experience with government organizations, regulatory agencies and distributed systems development. It provides stakeholders with tools and guidance to help manage complex situations and develop scalable systems. The team will continue to research and design the architecture for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft, publish research findings and open-source the tools and code it develops.