ESA title

Avoid drone collision with airplanes and helicopters

14/06/2019 949 views 0 likes
ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Technology Transfer

Meet the ESA BIC Switzerland start-up INVOLI at Paris Air Lab 21/6 and learn about their solution to increase air traffic awareness on existing drone systems, without modifying the drone’s hardware. 

A real-time air traffic understanding is the compulsory step to allow the safe integration of millions of drones into the airspace.

INVOLI provides a solution to guardrail the sky, enabling drones to automatically avoid any other flying object when on a collision course with airplanes, helicopters, other drones, parachutists etc. and especially in the lower airspace below 150m that is often a blind spot even for conventional air traffic control.

The patented technology collects the currently missing air traffic data with a focus on the areas not covered by traditional radars and transmits it to the drone, empowering it to become autonomous and to fly safely.

Data is acquired by a dense ground-based network of Micro Control Tower (MCT) installed on telecom infrastructure and shared over the dedicated INVOLI online platform or via API to enable automatic collision avoidance, thus empowering the drone to become fully autonomous. 

Through state-of-the-art algorithms and artificial intelligence to process the data, drones can achieve all their potential in the safest of ways.

Re-direct to avoid air space conflict between drone and aircraft
Re-direct to avoid air space conflict between drone and aircraft

“Our system is the missing link in the development of a shared sky by permitting situational awareness, automatic collision avoidance and safe air traffic management,” says Manu Lubrano, INVOLI CEO.

“The INVOLI technology will have many positive effects on society. It will finally allow fully autonomous drones, which will revolutionize areas such as transport of goods or people, rescue in disaster situations, agriculture, inspection, etc.”

INVOLI objective is to become a central element of future smart cities capable of centralizing data streams of all kinds of autonomous vehicles, including drones.

INVOLI entered ESA Business Incubation Centre Switzerland at the beginning of 2018 to boost the development of their solution and to strengthen partnership opportunities.

Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, the team bring together technologic, commercial and legal expertise, combined with a profound understanding of the drone and aviation worlds. Care has been put into creating a team having complementary skills, backgrounds and competencies, but also to shape it in a way to provides the best results. The team includes:

The INVOLI team
The INVOLI team

Manu Lubrano: Ph.D. in Manufacturing Systems and Robotics. Former Head of Industrialization at senseFly. Founder of Drone Adventures. Private pilot and drone pilot wide network in the drone industry.
Melanie Guittet: MSc. Engineering. Master project at Caltech (US) in the Aerospace Department. Certified project manager with a wide network in the aviation industry.
Cristina Mihalachioiu: MA. in Business Law and an experienced legal specialist. Communication and public relations expert also for relations with authorities.
Steven Roelofsen: PhD on Vision-Based Sense and Avoid Systems for Drones with a MSc. Robotics and Autonomous Systems and a Minor in Space Technologies.
Damien Rochat: Software engineering with focus on back-end development.
Tristan Chevignard: MSc. in Logistics and International Transportation. Former Head of Supply at senseFly. Logistics specialist with expertise in international business development.
Ricardo Pereira: Electrical Engineer and specialist in PCB and antennas.
Darius Merck: Flight pilot.

Current status and next step
Through large-scale pilot projects in partnership with strategic partners, INVOLI confirmed the needs of clients and aligned them with authorities. Main achievements include:

- Testing system in 2017 in an internal airport with the World Bank
- Pilot project with Swisscom in 2018 for antenna network in Western Switzerland
- In Tanzania providing full air traffic data for drone flights during Lake Victoria Challenge trials
- Part of Airbus-led mobility project on drone taxi and urban air mobility in several European cities

The next steps for 2019 include setting up of international pilot projects to expand INVOLI capabilities, well advanced in Tanzania and France.

Hosted at ESA BIC Switzerland
INVOLI has been selected to be part of the ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Switzerland where they will receive support to further develop and commercialize their drone solution for indoor inspection operations.

Hear INVOLI pitching at the INNOVATION STAGE 21 June 16:00-16:30

Meet the INVOLI entrepreneurs at the PARIS AIR LAB at Paris Air Show 21 June at their stand EXPLORE S10.  

PARIS AIR LAB -  Paris Air Show

After the success of its first edition 2 years ago, Paris Air Lab returns at the heart of the Paris Air Show, in the Concorde hall, with 3,000 m² dedicated to innovation and prospective in the aerospace, an industry decisively open to the future. Mobilities of tomorrow, AI, exploration and environment; Paris Air Lab will focus on major topics in the field.

Spotlight on industrial innovations and startups
Twelve booths are dedicated to 80 new comers: startups from more than 20 countries around the world display their projects and present their work. Discover important innovation programs through 12 collaborative booths around 4 key areas:

- ENABLE, focusing on innovative technologies in the industry
- PROTECT, dedicated to the sustainable aerospace industry
- TRAVEL, focused on the future of aeronautics mobility
- EXPLORE, featuring iconic space missions.

In the heart of Paris Air Lab, the booth «Understanding climate change» shows how planes and satellites contribute to the monitoring of climate change through embedded devices.

ESA Business Applications and Space Solutions

ESA’s Business Applications and Space Solutions programme has a network of 20 ESA Business Incubation Centres, 15 ESA Innovation Partners and 14 ESA Ambassadors throughout Europe. It co-funds projects and start-ups, while also offering technical and business support to companies that seek to deliver rapid innovation and to raise private investment.

Overall ESA spends €400 million a year on strengthening the competitiveness of European and Canadian companies in the global markets for both satellite communications andr downstream applications.

ESA BICs - World's largest ecosystem for space-related entrepreneurship
The ESA Business Incubation Centre Hessen & Baden-Württemberg was founded in 2007 and it part of the wider network of 20 ESA BICs throughput Europe.

The 20 ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) form the largest ecosystem in the world for space-related entrepreneurship and have fostered over 700 start-ups throughout Europe. Spread across some 60 cities in 17 countries, more than 300 start-ups are currently under the two-year business incubation development booster programme.

The centres offer complete access to all aspects of space-related innovation, technology and intellectual properties and is a gateway to ESA and European space research and developments. Located in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and UK, with more to open, over 700 start-ups have been fostered and another 180 new start-ups are taken in yearly to be supported under the two-years business development booster programme.

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