Pioneering Flight Integrating Unmanned and Standard Traffic Control Was a Success

Pablo Air conducted a pioneering flight integrating ATM and UTM, in South Korea 7 photos
Photo: Pablo Air
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If you haven’t yet heard about Pablo Air, you are likely to become much more familiar with this name in the future, as this South Korean startup is taking the drone delivery world by storm with some impressive records. Its most recent one was the first flight in the world that integrated unmanned traffic management (UTM) with conventional air traffic management (ATM).
Founded in 2018, Pablo Air was named after Pablo Picasso, the famous painter, as a symbol of its innovative vision for the global drone industry. In just a few years, the company managed to set some major records in drone delivery, such as the longest maritime flight (57 km/35.4 miles) in South Korea, as well as attract serious funding, government awards, and establish a U.S. branch earlier this year.

Its most recent success is another maritime flight demonstration, but one that integrated Ground Control System (GCS), UTM, and ATM – apparently, for the first time ever. A drone took off from Songdo, Incheon, circled the Jawoldo Island that is 30 km (18.6 miles) away, and then returned. The flight covered a total of 75 km (46.6 miles).

During the demonstration, the drone entered the sea and managed to keep a stable connection with the control system. Its triple communication technology proved that it can deliver optimal connection even in challenging maritime and island areas.

The flight was conducted during the K-UAM Confex event, held at the Incheon International Airport. Pablo Air’s PAMNet real-time control system was also integrated into the demonstration of the Airport’s monitoring system. A drone taxi conducted a 10-minute flight, proving PAMNEt’s performance in monitoring unmanned aircraft.

This control system for drones, compatible with ATM monitoring systems, claims to have no “location and time limitations.” In the future, it will also become compatible with maritime mobility, by integrating Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), and with defense applications, by being able to share data with the Central Air Defense Control Center (MCRC).

The recent successful demonstration is considered another step toward advanced drone deliveries, with innovative control systems.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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