South Korea’s mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. has vowed to become the first Korean company to commercialize an autonomous air traffic management system for drones, a technology that is expected to expand use of the unmanned aircraft.
LG Uplus said at a press conference held on Tuesday it will make its electronic drone traffic control system that would ensure a drone’s safe flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) available in the market.
A drone air traffic control system guides safe flights for drones like an air traffic management tower for passenger aircrafts. But unlike the crewed aircraft management center where human controllers give orders and directions, the drone control system can be autonomous thanks to drone navigation and communication software. A true autonomous system is expected to facilitate use of drones in disaster monitoring and cargo delivery. Currently many countries and companies are actively developing the system.
The Korean telecom company announced its plan to commercialize its drone air traffic control system after the Korean government eased regulations on drone flights on Nov. 10. The country’s transport ministry eased and lifted some regulations on unmanned aerial vehicles to allow drones’ after-dark flights and beyond the distance of vision operations.
With the air traffic management system for drones developed by LG Uplus, users can find the location of their drones in real time through connected LG Uplus’s LTE networks and control the drones’ flights to avoid any crashing into objects or each other. The system enables autonomous operation during the whole flight unlike the existing drone control system that should be manually operated by controllers using Wi-Fi networks, the company said.
“The cloud-based drone air traffic control system is expected to allow drones to change the paradigm in the logistics, security, measurement and safety management industries,” said an official at LG Uplus. The company would grow the drone air traffic management system as one of its mainstay businesses, the official added.
By Seo Dong-cheol and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]