UK-drone company flight tests autonomous swarming drones

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Blue Bear Systems Research has successfully demonstrated a fully autonomous suite of multiple drone swarm under Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) conditions.

The Bedford, UK-based company is developing technology where multiple drones are able to carry out simultaneous tasks, controlled by a single user, to create a swarm effect.

During the test, five fixed wing drones flew for a total of 15 hours over four days in challenging weather conditions. The swarm was made up of a combination of Blue Bear’s own Redkite and Cobra fixed wing drones,  which flew multiple, simultaneous, sorties from a test range in the North West of England.

The drones were equipped with the latest Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology and the airspace was managed by Blue Bear’s airspace deconfliction software. All of the assets were controlled by a single operator from Blue Bear’s Mission Command Control System (MCCS).

Ian Williams-Wynn, managing director of Blue Bear Systems said, “This is an exciting development for us, proving our ability to operate multiple drones, simultaneously, using the latest Blue Bear technology to deliver a swarm effect under BVLOS conditions.”

Last April, Blue Bear began running the UK’s 5G drone flight test centre, which is testing different types of 5G technology to track and identify drones.

 

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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