Atomicus is one of over 40 projects in the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Flight Challenge programme. The project is in phase two of the Challenge, receiving a share of a £30 million grant awarded by the UK government. Across all the Future Flight Challenge phases, the funding for all the projects will total around £125 million.
The primary aim of ATOMICUS is to de-risk the launch of a desirable and profitable middle mile logistics service to mitigate unplanned maintenance and Aircraft On Ground (AOG) delays for airlines. To this end, ATOMICUS has brought together a value chain of key partners across avionics, Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, ATM data, Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Service Providers, Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operators and Air Traffic Controller Officers.
The key objectives of ATOMICUS project are:
- To create and demonstrate the digital infrastructure and operational procedures that will allow unmanned cargo systems to safely and efficiently share the airspace and under utilised ground infrastructure with manned aircraft.
- To develop and demonstrate a concept of operations (CONOPS) and safety case, enabling scalable Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operation and airport ground operations integration.
- To demonstrate the ability to provide logistics between airports and potentially airfields, demonstrating the capacity to, as part of a planned, sequenced flight, with an allocated slot, safely operate a drone through controlled airspace to land at a manned airport and arrive at a ‘gate’.
Partners and their roles
Cirium – is responsible for leading and driving the project forward, the development of the UTM Core (subset), Supplementary Data Service Provider (SDSP), ATM Data Provider, Data Broker, API & Data Expertise.
Neuron Innovations Ltd - Operations & Technology Role: Intra stakeholder trusted data protocols and secure exchange technology implementation with key individuals involved in ARPAS, a serving BA pilot and ATC expert, BVLOS Safety Case specialist
ANRA Technologies UK Ltd - Operations & Technology role: UTM Service Provider (UTMSP), UTM Core (subset), drone operations planning, operational monitoring network Remote ID, and Operator support – NASA, FAA and UK Trial experience.
Distributed Avionics Ltd - Operations & Technology Role: Drone avionics and telemetry provision via ground station and simulation capabilities, currently supporting multiple BVLOS UK trials
University of Southampton (SOTON UAV) - Operations & Expertise Role: Experienced drone operator, flyer, and safety case expertise across multiple BVLOS trials.
Connected Places Catapult - responsible for providing project management expertise and ensuring IUK governance processes are managed. Leading the Safety Case & CONOPs development with Anra, providing expertise of the Open Access UTM Architecture and related artifacts & lead dissemination activities for the project.
Aerospace Wales, Welsh Government, NATS, Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers
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