ANRA Technologies and Hover UAV are pleased to announce that they are among the recipients of the $32.6 million Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships program from the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. This two-year program aims to promote the use of new aviation technologies to improve the competitiveness, efficiency and reliability of Australian aviation. Hover UAV and ANRA Technologies have partnered to develop and test prototype software to enable the safe and efficient integration of drones into Australian airspace. SORA-Mate software is an app that can be used on mobile devices or web browsers to meet Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requirements for complex drone operations by creating intelligent software for standardized, fair and repeatable risk assessments for drone operators and authorities.
“We are very pleased with this grant and continue to contribute to the collective knowledge of RPAS technologies in Australia,” said Jackie Dujmovic, CEO of Hover UAV. She continued, “SORA-Mate is a BVLoS use case enabler that accelerates the approval process by streamlining and standardizing workflow while reducing workload.”
Australian Specific Operational Risk Assessment (SORA) scores are prepared manually, with each submission individually assessed by Australia’s CASA. The number of SORA assessments submitted to aviation authorities will increase as drone operators undertake more complex operations, in line with the growing need to fly beyond the line of sight (BVLoS). To avoid delays and improve response times, risk assessment review must be timely, applied consistently, and scalable across applications. As a starting point, the standardized presentation of risk assessments enables CASA assessors to make evidence-based decisions in a timely and repeatable manner.
“By making the process easier and more familiar for both the aviation authority and the drone operator, SORA-Mate will lower the barriers to entry for BVLoS operations and increase productivity,” said Amit Ganjoo, Founder and CEO of ANRA Technologies. “We are very excited to partner with Hover UAV on the development of technology that we envision will benefit the Australian Government and drone operators.”
SORA-Mate uses the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) approach commissioned by CASA to assist both the applicant and the competent authority in determining whether an operation can be conducted in a safe manner. The project includes an iterative process in which the risk of complex drone operations is systematically identified. Using an intuitive graphical user interface, operators determine where, when and how to perform the operation without endangering people and objects in the air or on the ground. At the end of this process there is a detailed description of the planned operation, the associated risks and the necessary risk mitigation measures.
SORA-Mate links the operator’s submission to the aviation authority for assessment, speeding up the feedback loop. Drone operators will get approvals faster, CASA will have access to more data for analysis, and all stakeholders will have a common framework to assess risks and improve flight safety. SORA-Mate’s simplified process will greatly benefit the drone community by facilitating fair and equal access to airspace for all drone operations. The planned solution will provide aviation authorities with a risk measurement and assessment tool using an internationally recognized methodology, while providing drone operators with a known route to get airborne safely.
“Aviation safety depends on getting the basics right. SORA-Mate provides this platform for drone operators to achieve their safety goals in a structured and understandable way,” said Nicola MacPhail, Emerging Aviation Lead at Hover UAV.
The SORA is crucial to ensure safe complex drone operations like BVLoS. The process of developing these risk assessments can be tedious and overwhelming for some drone operators while increasing the workload of aviation authorities. SORA-Mate will help accelerate the early adoption of new aeronautical technologies by dramatically improving the decision timeline and introducing standardization. The expectation of the project is to create a nationwide framework, based on SORA approvals and information technology, that will allow the submission of drone operators to thorough inspections by aviation authorities on a large scale.
About Hover UAV
As one of Australia’s leading drone consulting companies, Hover UAV with its extensive knowledge of the Australian airspace ecosystem and experience in developing BVLoS applications will support the SORA-Mate project by providing expertise in CONOP development, risk assessments and the connection with stakeholders. Additionally, Hover UAV will lead the management of live flight tests, leveraging its experience as a drone operator for BvLoS operations. www.hoveruav.com.au
About ANRA Technologies
ANRA Technologies is an international provider of airspace management solutions for autonomous aircraft operators and airspace managers. ANRA offers intelligent and modular traffic management software functions for the operation of UAS Traffic Management (UTM)/U-space and Urban Air Mobility (UAM). For companies that need an enterprise-class drone operation solution, ANRA offers Mission Manager and for delivery solutions ANRA DELIVERY. Learn more at www.flyanra.com