Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is partnering with Canadian UAVs to develop an unmanned traffic management solution for below-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) in Canada.
Lockheed Martin’s Canada CDL Systems subsidiary will work with the Calgary-based, military-grade drone services company to optimize airspace situational awareness for UAV pilots and support crew via the new UTM.
Using Lockheed Martin’s vehicle control station software, VCSi, Canadian UAVs will integrate their ground-based radar, Sparrowhawk, into the UTM to provide users with a complete airspace picture of manned and unmanned aviation tracking with collision avoidance. Sparrowhawk proved instrumental in launching Canadian UAVs’ first permitted BVLOS flights outside of restricted airspace in Canadian history in 2018.
“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,” Canadian UAVs President Sean Greenwood said in a press release.
“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.”
As one of the world’s largest defense/aerospace conglomerates, Lockheed Martin has been working in the drone and counter-drone sectors for nearly 10 years.
The company released a test video demonstrating the 30-kilowatt class Advanced Test High Energy Asset system, downing five fixed-wing Outlaw drones at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Lockheed Martin funded the counter-drone program to defeat airborne targets in flight by causing loss of control and structural failure.
The OUTRIDER is released — a drone designed to provide “enhanced situational awareness in environments where launching a conventional UAV is not practical.” Designed with a patented launch canister, the UAV has a high degree of wind tolerance. Developed at Lockheed UK’s Havant facility, the drone is four inches wide, weighs 3.7 pounds and can reach speeds up to 57 mph. It can also stay airborne for more than two hours.
The company demonstrated a new UAS air-traffic control system by showcasing two drones working in tandem to fight fires while maintaining contact with air traffic control. The military drones included the Stalker XE, a 12-foot wingspan craft that can fly up to 45 mph at altitudes up to 15,000 feet with an 8-hour flight time. Built by Kaman combined with Lockheed Martin equipment, the K-MAX drone can carry 6,000 pounds of cargo and fly up to 115 mph.
Lockheed Martin partnered with Laser Motive to unveil the Stalker, a drone that can fly 48 continuous hours using a laser-based charging system.