Inmarsat launches the first global UAV connectivity solution

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Satellite giant Inmarsat has launched Velaris, the first global connectivity solution for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Velaris is powered by Inmarsat’s ELERA satellite network and enables commercial UAVs to fly beyond visual sight. The solution also provides UAV operators with access to key applications like real-time air traffic monitoring to ensure the safety of all commercial airspace users.

Anthony Spouncer, Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs and Unmanned Traffic Management, said:

“Commercial UAVs have the potential to revolutionise a vast array of different industries throughout the world.

However, to truly unlock their potential on a commercial scale, it is imperative that autonomous vehicles and unmanned aviation are safely and securely integrated into managed commercial airspace.

That’s exactly what Velaris, as Inmarsat’s first global UAV connectivity solution, will deliver.”

The commercial UAV market is expected to increase from $2.32 billion in 2021 to $11.29 billion in 2028. UAVs will prove to be a groundbreaking asset for industries ranging from cargo delivery and urban transport to emergency services and disaster relief.

Inmarsat plans on playing a key role in the rapid growth of UAVs.

“Inmarsat’s unparalleled experience in air traffic management and aviation safety, combined with our established track record in civil and military UAV communications, ensures that we can support global regulators, air navigation service providers and UAV operators with seamless airspace integration,” added Spouncer.

“In addition, thanks to our ambitious and fully-funded technology roadmap, including our brand new ORCHESTRA communications network of the future, Velaris will continue to develop and evolve alongside the UAV industry, remaining a gold standard connectivity solution for decades to come.”

Inmarsat has already been recognised for its achievements in the UAV space after being crowned the winner of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) Magazine Awards for its Pop-Up Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Platform that was developed in partnership with Altitude Angel.

Here in the UK, Inmarsat is part of the government-funded Airspace of the Future group that focuses on the integration of UAVs with the wider UK transport ecosystem. Other group members include Thales, Cranfield University, Cranfield Airport Operations, Altitude Angel, Ocado Group, Blue Bear, Satellite Applications Catapult, and Connected Places Catapult.

Inmarsat is also part of another UK Government-funded initiative called Project HEART (Hydrogen Electric and Automated Regional Transportation), which is developing the country’s first automated, zero-carbon regional air transportation network.

(Image Credit: Inmarsat)

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