The U.K.’s Altitude Angel, a leading unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform, has announced a new surveillance API. The new API will “allow integrators to both share and receive flight data from a variety of sensors and devices in near real-time, providing a truly comprehensive real-time picture of the airspace,” says an Altitude Angel press release.
Chris Forster, Altitude Angel, Chief Operating Officer told DRONELIFE: “The launch of our surveillance API is an important step towards the future of automated drone flight right across the globe. The more of the ‘moving picture’ we’re able to see, fuse with other data sources and then disseminate to the relevant users, the safer the skies will be for both manned and ummanned aviation.”
Altitude Angel explains how the API works:
The surveillance API provides a mechanism for commercial drone manufacturers, flight app developers and drone fleet operators to ‘push’ aircraft surveillance data (called ‘position reports’) directly to Altitude Angel, which is then standardised and correlated with other data sources in its network. This, in turn, makes it easier for companies using the data to obtain a richer ‘moving picture’ of the sky which can be used at airport locations, or in drone flight control apps, to enhance safety and security.
By ‘fusing’ all data from multiple sensors into a common database, and correlating it with other sources, Altitude Angel is able to provide a rich, real-time data view ofthe sky with greater validation than a single sensor can otherwise provide, thereby helping to enhance overall safety.
Position reports, along with data from other sources, deliver a comprehensive picture of the airspace in real-time which is used by Altitude Angel’s other services such as Airspace Alerts and Tactical Conflict Resolution Service (CRS), which provides ‘air traffic control’ like instructions to drones as they fly to help them avoid each other, and other aircraft, even if they’re operated by different companies.
By connecting to Altitude Angel’s platform with the API, manufacturers can share data securely over long distances – or use other services, like the Conflict Resolution Service, provided on the platform.
Richard Parker, Altitude Angel CEO and founder, says that the API represents a significant step forward for the integration of drones into the airspace: “By offering our surveillance API to developers and manufacturers, we’re taking another significant step towards providing a single-point-source-of-truth which is needed to realise routine, automated drone flights. By using this API, implementors can benefit from the tremendous ‘fusion’ capability in the system and will receive enhanced position data back. Data can then be routed into other functions offered by the GuardianUTM cloud platform, including tactical conflict resolution and Airspace Alerts.”
Anyone wishing to integrate with Altitude Angel’s surveillance API can do so via https://docs.altitudeangel.com/docs/surveillance-api
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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