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Drone Tracking - a Tern Systems project in collaboration with HungaroControl

The explosive popularity of drones and associated technology advances has transformed the once-specialist equipment into devices which can be operated by novices.

Drones can now be bought cheaply by users of all ages and flown without training. In Iceland we have seen some breathtaking videos of the recent volcanic activity taken by amateur drone operators, these videos would have been impossible to capture with traditional means.

Beyond the benefits of drone technology, their operation can cause concern for aviation authorities. Potentially dangerous situations can arise when aircraft and drones share the same airspace.

As a result of this concern, discussion around the reasonable regulation of the use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles is ongoing around the world. A good example of such discussion is this blog by our partners HungaroControl.

They have increasingly put drone research and development into focus and have engaged Tern Systems to begin the planning and development of solutions for the safe management of drone traffic.

Will be able to track and display the movement of drones

“The aim of the project is to develop a software system that is capable of tracking and displaying the movement of drones” says Guðný Árnadóttir, Software Engineer at Tern Systems. “We have a collaborative research team with members from Tern Systems and HungaroControl working together on this research Project".

Guðný, a Mechatronics Engineer who recently joined Tern Systems, explains that the purpose of this research is to study and develop a suitable tracking algorithm for drones since drones follow different kinematics than conventional aircraft. “The user interface of the system will display the drone tracking information and safety net warnings on the Controller Working Position. The logic and graphical parameters of the user interface will be designed in collaboration with HungaroControl”.

Provides numerous possibilities

According to this development agreement between Tern Systems and HungaroControl, a layered display will be created, with the possibility to select information according to submitted and approved drone zones, drone detection system classification and altitude data. “For example, the system will be able to alert the operator if a drone exits its approved airspace” Guðný explains.

The project is divided into phases and the aim is to deliver the final phase to HungaroControl in November 2022. Guðný closed our brief interview by summarising the enthusiastic mood of the drone team, “We're very excited about this project and look forward to further great collaboration with HungaroControl”.


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