A consortium formed of Archangel Imaging, UAVaid and Novit AI, today announced the successful award of a share of £2.5m of development funding from the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) and formal start of PROJECT GENIE, a 12-month programme to develop innovative aircraft navigation technology for use in GPS denied or contested environments.
Project GENIE (GNSS Excluded Navigation Intelligent Enhancement) will mature and advance non-GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems – usually thought of as GPS) solutions as part of a long-term objective to enable assured location and navigation in commercial aerospace, helping to unlock the benefits and value of autonomy in civil aviation.
Today, GPS is a fundamental instrument for the aerospace industry, used by pilots of every type of aircraft to provide reliable, accurate location information for navigation purposes. Unfortunately, GPS is easy to spoof (trick) or jam (block). There is extensive evidence of GPS being deliberately or accidently spoofed or jammed, with evidence of some nations routinely spoofing GPS during conflict situations, or when moving VIPs between locations. This is overcome by pilots and air traffic control working together to mitigate risks and impact. This already results in some commercial passenger flights being impacted.
Tomorrow, as we look towards single pilot operation and future autonomous aircraft, there will not be a pilot or air traffic controller available to mitigate these risks. GENIE has been developed to step into this role. It will be able to identify when a GPS signal has been compromised and using a combination of techniques provide a location position as accurate as GPS.
Already recognised as leaders in their respective fields, the support from NATEP will enable the consortium to take a significant step towards navigation in GNSS spoofed or denied environments.
Charles Smith, CCO at Archangel Imaging said, “The need to provide assured, resilient navigation is a critical enabler for autonomy in the aerospace environment. GENIE is a core element of this, and we are very excited to be working with NATEP to help push this technology forward. We see significant commercial exploitation opportunities as a result of this project in the UAV and broader aviation markets and are thrilled to be a part of this round of NATEP funding and support”
James Ronan, technical lead at UAV aid said, Project GENIE represents technology at the very cutting-edge of innovation. By working with our consortium partners to push these boundaries, we reinforce our position at the front of unmanned aviation and support the safe and resilient development of the sector.”
Sarp Ulas, CEO at Novit.AI said “GENIE is a revolutionary steppingstone for accelerating the history towards the inevitable unmanned future in aerospace. We are delighted to be a part of NATEP, working with world-class partners of outstanding vision who are moving the frontiers for the mankind for a safer and more secure tomorrow.”
David Howells, Technology Manager at NATEP said, “We are very pleased to have the GENIE project supported by the NATEP programme. The Archangel Imaging team have a proven track record of innovation and leading a strong industry consortium, we look forward to the successful development and deployment of sector leading technology for navigation in GNSS spoofed or denied environments.”
About ARCHANGEL IMAGING LTD.
Archangel Imaging deploys smart machines alongside people to protect valuable remote assets and at-risk staff. Today’s machines are mostly tools, not team mates. Our technology is retrofitted to make machines smarter, more resilient team mates, independent from infrastructure. We then integrate best-in-class AI, satellite analytics, robots, drones and IoT into human workflows. These hybrid teams respond faster and more effectively to safety or security threats. The Argonaut™ AI cameras watch for poachers in Africa or potential suicides on the European railways. The GENIE™ navigation units enable any drone to independently navigate and complete missions without GPS signals. Our technology is trusted by commercial and government customers such as Ministry of Defence, Network Rail, European Space Agency and British Transport Police and has been recognised with awards, such as AIConics ‘AI for Good’ award presented at 10 Downing Street. www.archangel.im
About UAVAID LTD
UAVAid are a UK based developer and operator of Unmanned Aerial Systems AKA ‘drones’. Specialising in systems optimised for applications in remote and difficult to reach areas, such as humanitarian and global development (GD). UAVaid was established in London in 2014 by two brothers, Daniel and James Ronen. They operate a mixed fleet of BVLOS drones, including their proprietary multi-role HANSARD, which incorporates cargo delivery, mapping and live aerial surveillance, onto a single platform. Award winning UAVaid have completed projects in UK, EU, Malawi and Sierra Leone and are actively engaged in cutting edge R&D to extend the safety and capabilities of unmanned aviation. www.uavaid.com
Novit.AI is a London based geospatial machine vision specialist which aggregates data from thousands of satellites into world-scale human-readable insights using artificial intelligence. Novit.AI has provided integrated solutions to the energy, defence and security sectors since 2017 and has pioneered the combined use of optical and synthetic aperture radar in geospatial data analytics. www.novit.ai
The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme is a £20m programme to develop 80 aerospace technologies in the UK aerospace supply chain.
The Aerospace Growth Partnership developed the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) aimed at small and medium sized suppliers to help them develop their own innovative technologies to enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business with higher tier companies anywhere in the world. www.natep.org.uk