Kongsberg Geospatial, an Ottawa-based geospatial technology was selected as part of the project team which recently secured a $1.4M contract with the Ohio Federal Network (OFRN) to lead the development of a contingency management platform (CMP) for Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) drone operations.
The project, called “Interoperability, Resiliency and Contingency Management” for Ohio UAS Operations is one of six projects awarded in round four of OFRN’s Sustaining Ohio Aeronautical Readiness and Innovation Next Generation (SOARING) initiative. The collaborative effort brings together private companies, including prime contractor CAL Analytics, ResilienX, TruWeather Solutions, and Kongsberg Geospatial, with higher education partners – Kent State University, and The Ohio State University.
OFRN is a program of the Wright State Applied Research Corporation, and has the mission to stimulate Ohio’s innovation economy through job and product creation by building statewide collaborations between university researchers, Ohio-based federal laboratories and businesses. OFRN’s SOARING initiative leverages funding from Ohio’s unique aerospace assets in overcoming critical technical barriers and business challenges to enable more widespread adoption of UAS into the national airspace.
As the prime contractor, CAL Analytics will lead system integration on the ground in Ohio, deploying the CMP to two customers: the Ohio Department of Transportation in Columbus, and the Air Force Research Lab in Springfield.
“We are really excited about this project, as it will start layering in some of the safety measures and procedures that are critical to operationalize routine UAS operations,” said Sean Calhoun, managing director of CAL Analytics and project lead. “We think this project will put a nice spotlight on Ohio and all the great UAS development work that is happening here.”
Geospatial software company, Kongsberg Geospatial, will contribute IRIS UxS: a real-time airspace visualization system for Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) mission management that allows a single operator to manage multiple aircraft. The system combines live data and live weather from a variety of sensors to create a real-time picture of the airspace where UAS are being operated.
“For the past few years, we’ve been working on improving safety for BVLOS UAS missions through the development of IRIS UxS,” said Company Vice President, Paige Cutland. “The IRIS system is now actively deployed for a variety of long-range mission applications including drone delivery, pipeline inspection and emergency airspace operations.”
The project is a few weeks into the 18-month period of performance and is expected to wrap up during the summer of 2021 with final demonstrations to take place in both Springfield and Columbus, Ohio.