Showing posts with label UK Space Agency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK Space Agency. Show all posts

13 July, 2023

£20 million UK Space Agency funding to support aerial connectivity

Drones and high-altitude aircraft could boost connectivity in remote areas and support emergency services, following new government funding.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Chloe Smith announced the £20 million funding from the UK Space Agency – the biggest investment into these types of services to date – to support the development of future telecommunications technologies and aerial connectivity projects, which would be used onboard drones or high-altitude platforms to provide wireless coverage.

Companies can bid for the funding to develop innovative aerial services and technologies that will support a range of industries, for example drones delivering medical supplies to hospitals, providing dedicated connectivity for emergency services or bringing internet access to rural areas.

The Technology Secretary unveiled the support during a speech at the opening of the European Space Agency’s state-of-the-art new conference centre at the Harwell Space Cluster, in Oxfordshire, which is home to over 100 space organisations employing more than 1400 people.

Technology Secretary Chloe Smith, said:  "From using drones to quickly get medicines to hospitals, through to boosting mobile network access in remote areas, the benefits of aerial connectivity cut through many aspects of our lives.

The Government’s £20 million investment will further strengthen the UK’s fast-growing satellite communications industry, which already contributes more than £10 billion to our economy and supports over 26,000 jobs. It will improve our health and security, too, and support our plan to level up every part of the UK."

Industry can submit applications under three themes: Drones; High-Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS); and High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE).   Submit applications here.

Projects could include developing connectivity for aerial platforms with hybrid capabilities that can seamlessly switch between satellite and terrestrial networks, or traffic management for innovative vehicles such as electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, or ‘flying taxis’.

16 June, 2023

CGI to lead the development of a cloud-based Universal Virtual Flight Data Recorder

European Space Agency co-funded project will support aircraft safety and future aircraft tracking and data recovery......

CGI  has been awarded a contract under the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) programme with the support from the UK Space Agency. CGI will lead a consortium in the development of a Service Demonstrator for a virtual flight data recorder. Replicating the function of a traditional crash-protected flight data recorder (Black Box) in a virtual, cloud-based environment, the new system will allow the assured, authenticated and provenance-controlled storage of data transmitted by an aircraft while in flight. It will enable access to that data almost immediately in case of an emergency, incident, or accident. The Universal Virtual Flight Data Recorder (UVFDR) will be designed for use on any aircraft equipped to send engineering telemetry and operational data to the ground.

Neil Timms, Senior Vice President Space, Defence and Intelligence for UK & Australia at CGI said: "Understanding the cause of an air-related incident is vital to helping improve flight safety, and indispensable for those impacted and their families. CGI is proud to be working with ESA, whilst building on our heritage in safe, secure cloud, to develop a virtual flight recording service that allows any suitably equipped aircraft to send flight data to a secure cloud storage facility."

Designed to meet Global Aeronautic Distress and Safety System (GADSS) aircraft tracking and flight data recovery requirements, a future UVFDR service can be used on its own on smaller aircraft, or alongside traditional recorders on aircraft legally required to carry them. The future UVFDR services could also reduce the time and effort required to locate aircraft in distress, as well as provide critical telemetry to ground-based engineers assisting their crews.