The Research Council of Norway has granted a NOK 14.9 million funding to UBIQ Aerospace for mission planning for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The research project aims to develop a UAV mission planning tool that considers meteorological data.
The cooperation is part of a NOK 480 million innovation funding package announced by the Research Council on September 28th 2020.
Weather conditions, particularly in-flight icing, are a key challenge for UAVs. Flying into atmospheric icing conditions can potentially lead to the loss of the aircraft. Today’s UAV path planning tools do, however, not account for potential icing conditions.
The mission planning tool researched by UBIQ Aerospace will be based on advanced algorithms that take into account historical and forecast meteorological data, as well as the aircraft performance models. The tool will use this information to compute the best possible route to the desired destination.
UBIQ Aerospace conducts the project in collaboration with Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). NTNU has established itself as one of the world leading universities in unmanned aircraft icing, and will continue to build on the previous research.
UBIQ Aerospace is the provider of D•ICE, a ground-breaking ice protection system for UAVs. D•ICE detects and removes ice that builds on the aircraft, enabling flying into icing conditions. An ice protection system, however, increases the electric power consumption and affects the range and endurance of a UAV.
– Together with an ice protection system, careful mission planning and real-time flight management are essential for successful UAV operations. The mission planning tool is a key component to a holistic ice protection solution that will be offered to the UAV industry, said Kim Lynge Sørensen, founder and CEO of UBIQ Aerospace.
The global UAV market is forecast to more than double from 2019 to 2025. The UAV industry is expected to turn into an autonomous, versatile transport platform that radically changes the transport of goods, as well as abilities for surveillance, inspection, and search and rescue.
– UBIQ Aerospace is devoted to building solutions that help unlock the full potential of UAVs, said Kim Lynge Sørensen.