Skypuzzler x Innovayt // Eurostars

Drones can be used in a wide range of activities and can also be associated with massive innovation and economic opportunities. However, current Unmanned Traffic Management systems (UTMs), used to communicate with drone operators and coordinate drone operations in the airspace in the most automated and safe way, only provide basic services. This includes flight planning, flight approval, tracking, and interfacing with conventional air traffic control. To date, UTMs lack the capacity to perform automated tactical drone deconfliction, meaning that once drones encounter an unexpected obstacle in their flight plan, UTMs are not capable to adjust the initial flight path or provide alternative routes. As safety measures, UTMs either postpone the flight or indicate an emergency landing, in turn limiting the number of drones that can fly in the airspace and preventing the drone industry to reach its maximum potential. The European Roadmap for safe integration of drones into the airspace has established that by 2025 UTMs need to provide services for coordinating complex multiple drone flights, such as automation for the resolution of conflicts between drones. In the absence of available solutions to perform automated tactical drone deconfliction, this remains a huge market need.

To tackle this gap, Skypuzzler, a deep tech Danish SME, has been working on automated tactical deconfliction technologies to ensure flight safety, efficiency, and scalability in advanced air mobility. Their main focus is to address the technical challenges that are associated with the safe integration of drones into the airspace. By overcoming those challenges, Skypuzzler will provide their clients with solutions to enable the safe conduct of multiple autonomous drones, scaling the drone industry, and contributing to the green transition.

Innovayt supported Skypuzzler in coordinating the development of a Eurostars proposal, a soft funding programme organised by Eureka to support research intensive SMEs in implementing commercially driven R&D projects in international consortia. Granted with €767k, the consortium led by Skypuzzler is developing a disruptive tactical drone deconfliction software, that will be integrated into an advanced UTMs, to provide an automated tactical deconfliction service. This will enable safe and efficient flight route adjustments in real-time when multiple drones are flying in the same airspace beyond visual line of sight. The impact is expected to drastically accelerate the growth of the drone industry and therefore, contribute to environmental sustainability by decreasing CO2 emissions and support the green transition.

Skypuzzler has already been recognised for its pioneering work in Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems with an Aviation top industry award, as the first start-up in the ATM Award history. To Skypuzzler’s CEO and Co-founder, Jesper Skou, the valuable contribution of Innovayt was essential not only to the success of the application but throughout the whole process:

While drafting the application for the Eurostars project, Innovayt consistently demonstrated a very high commitment to the process. The team from Innovayt had a very steep learning curve, and after a few meetings, they had a perfect understanding of the industry. Innovayt constantly pushed our team to meet the deadlines within the tight schedule. Overall, I highly recommend Innovayt to anyone looking for support for their applications to complex projects, and we only succeeded with the help of Innovayt.

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