We discussed building out the airspace information layers in the first part of our blog series on the Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) solution we put together as part of the K-UAM Grand Challenge. These layers went from the ground up, starting with terrain and building data, through static and dynamic constraints, including TFRs and weather data.
In this post, we will continue our talk through the core services deployed as part of the UATM solution as we move into how we integrate surveillance feeds and utilize surveillance data. We will also discuss flight authorization and the rules engine built into the OneSky UATM.
We will follow this with one last post to wrap everything up with strategic deconfliction and conformance monitoring. We’ll also talk about how this works in a federated architecture where the UATM system can manage operations from multiple operators and PSUs. For now, let’s jump into surveillance feeds.
Integrating Surveillance Feeds and Data into a UATM Solution
OneSky integrates surveillance feeds from all kinds of different surveillance sources, including radar systems, ADS-B transponders, optical sensors, and passive RF trackers. We hook into these feeds through integration services and bring the data into our core platform for visualization, analysis, and real-time separation services.
You can visualize the surveillance data in the real-time traffic page within the UTM portal. The Surveillance Panel allows users to toggle the visualization for different surveillance sources and filter tracks based on their altitude (i.e., only display ADS-B below 1200 ft). We can tailor the symbology and metadata (heads up) display to meet the needs of our operational users. You also get visual alerts on whether or not surveillance tracks are in proximity to any of the UATM operations.
Suppose a surveillance track or a crewed aircraft enters the UATM airspace. In that case, we dynamically generate a UAS Volume Restriction (UVR), which is a dynamic flight restriction that follows the location of that aircraft and predicts where it will go in the future. That quickly updating, dynamic restriction is notified to all affected operations.
It’s very important that this data is not just created but exchanged with all participants so that they can make decisions about avoiding the restrictions.
Flight Planning and Authorization with the UATM System
Information from ground control stations (GCS) can be used in the UATM system. OneSky has proven GCS integrations with commercial GCS such as Mission Planner, UgCS, and Piccolo. In addition, we have integrated with numerous private GCS developed and maintained by our OneSky Future of Flight partners. Flights submitted from the GCS enter the UATM system and automatically trigger a series of analytical services to validate the operation. Flights are “Approved” or “Denied” based on the results from this authorization rules engine. For example, a flight plan that intersects with a Temporary Flight Restriction or a UVR generated by a surveillance track would fail the “strategic deconfliction” rule and be denied.
The results of the authorization engine are sent back to the operator so that they have sufficient information to update the flight plan and resubmit. For example, flights failing the strategic deconfliction service would be provided in GeoJSON for the airspace or operation in conflict. Operators can then adjust their flight geometry or timing and resubmit for approval. Let’s dive deeper into the rules awareness service, authorization rules engine, and how rules are created and applied.
Flight Authorization - Rules Awareness in the UATM System
OneSky has a very robust Rules Awareness service that allows a UATM administrator to edit the specific authorization rules that apply over a geographic area. Therefore, it is possible to create unique rulesets per operational area, i.e., controlled vs uncontrolled airspace. Whenever a PSU or a UAM operator wants to plan a mission, they can query the rules awareness service to obtain a JSON object containing rules and airspace advisories for their operational area and mission type. This is useful in a federated ecosystem, where numerous private and public PSU must query the centralized UATM for rules awareness and airspace advisories.
Rules awareness is important, but in order for a PSU or UATM system to scale, these rules need to be checked in an automated way and, if passed, gain automatic approval. OneSky’s PSU and UATM provide a rules-based automatic authorization engine that acts on the discovered rulesets and progresses a submitted flight plan through the approval process.
It’s important to understand that the rules engine is built to execute internal and external analytical services and check the results against thresholds set by the Admin. OneSky has several analytical services, including GNSS Navigation Accuracy, Terrain/Obstacle separation, Strategic Deconfliction, Demand and Capacity Balancing, Noise Impact, Fairness and Prioritization, Weather, and Communications. Where necessary, we integrate external services or data providers to provide the best sources of operational risk assessment.
For example, Mobile Network Operators (MNO) might provide network performance or population density information as a service that the authorization engine can query. When a flight is submitted to the UATM, the rules engine queries the MNO service to determine LTE network performance along the flight path. A flight is only allowed if the performance meets the minimum performance requirements set by the UATM administrator.
OneSky always strives to provide our operational users with the best analytical and data services. We'd love to hear from you if you or your company can add valuable insight to flight plans or live operations!
Meet the Team in Korea
The OneSky team is heading to Korea in mid-July! We’ll be doing a roadshow to discuss how our UATM solution is part of Korea’s advanced air mobility efforts. You can learn more about the workshops here: https://www.onesky.xyz/kuam-workshops