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South Korean Drone Company Achieves Integrated UTM, ATM Maritime Connectivity Over Satellite

By | November 24, 2021

Pablo Air unveils world’s first ATM-UTM-integrated flight. (Photo: Pablo Air)

A South Korean drone logistics company named Pablo Air successfully demonstrated the world’s first maritime flight with Ground Control System (GCS), unmanned- (UTM) and Air Traffic-Management (ATM) capabilities powered by satellite communication. The drone company confirmed Wednesday that connectivity to the drone remained stable even in maritime and island areas outside LTE coverage.

Pablo Air cooperated with South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corporation for the demonstration project, which was supported by the nation’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.

During the demonstration, the Pablo Air drone took off from Songdo, Incheon, circled Jawoldo Island, about 30km away, flying 75km round trip to return in the opening ceremony. The drone entered the sea and proceeded to transmit and receive over RF modem and LTE communication.

Pablo Air CEO Kim Young-Joon said that this new capability helps guarantee the safe flight of various civilian aircraft flying at low altitude through integration with the Aviation Information Service (AIS) and also lays the foundation for collaboration with maritime and ground mobility through integration with Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).

“[The] 75km flight success and integration of GCS and UTM shows that it could integrate with the UAM traffic management system (UATM), which will soon be revealed,” said Young-Joon. “We have taken another step toward commercialization of delivery using unmanned mobility and innovation of integrated control systems.”