Singapore-based University to Create Traffic Management System for UAS Flown in Country



Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are looking to create a traffic management system to help safely manage UAS flown in Singapore.

NTU’s Air Traffic Management Research Institute (ATMRI) will lead the research for the project, known as the Traffic Management of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

“At NTU, we have already demonstrated viable technologies such as UAV convoys, formation flying and logistics, which will soon become mainstream,” said NTU Professor Low Kin Huat, who is one of the leaders on the project. 

In a school press release, Huat continued, “this new traffic management project will test some of the new concepts developed with the aim of achieving safe and efficient drone traffic in our urban airways.”

One of the main features of the system will be designated air-lanes and blocks, similar to cars on the road with lanes and traffic lights. Other features will include technology for detect and avoid systems, as well as traffic management to help coordinate air traffic.

Louis Phee, a professor at the university and Chair of NTU’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said, “this research will pave the way for appropriate rules and regulations to be implemented amidst the rapid growth of UAVs. The findings can help improve safety and address security concerns, which are especially important given today’s climate of uncertainty.”

NTU is also considering creating coordinating stations for UAS traffic, which would handle everything related to air traffic, from tracking UAS while they’re in the air to scheduling traffic flow.

To avoid having UAS fly in restricted airspace, NTU will also look into geofencing technology, which would automatically route UAS to fly around restricted areas such as an airport or near military facilities.

By the end of 2017, NTU hopes to finish its initial phase of conceptual design and software simulation of the system.

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Photo Credit: NTU Singapore

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