Urban V Begins Test Phase of “Vertiport Monitoring System to Mitigate Bird Strikes”

Ver­ti­port devel­op­er, Urban V, announced this week, it has start­ed test­ing a BCMS (Bird Con­cen­tra­tion Mon­i­tor­ing Sys­tem) at its Ver­ti­port UV‑0, reports a press release.

Designed to com­bat bird strikes at air­ports, the sys­tem was installed at the company’s Test Ver­ti­port in Fiu­mi­ci­no, Italy last Decem­ber. This instal­la­tion fol­lows the sign­ing of a Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing (MOU) between UrbanV and The Edge Com­pa­ny, an Ital­ian tech com­pa­ny spe­cial­is­ing in Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (AI), neur­al net­works and deep learn­ing. The part­ner­ship “aims to pro­vide cut­ting-edge tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tions and ser­vices on a glob­al scale,” says the release.

The sys­tem is present­ly cap­tur­ing images to map the local wildlife and address poten­tial obsta­cles that may arise dur­ing dif­fer­ent air taxi flight phas­es. This ini­tia­tive enables UrbanV to mon­i­tor in real time any risks asso­ci­at­ed with bird strikes or unco­op­er­a­tive obsta­cles. The mon­i­tor­ing process is auto­mat­ed and envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly, where video data cap­tured by cam­eras is processed by AI net­works, auto­mat­i­cal­ly amass­ing a large amount of ver­i­fi­able data.

Car­lo Tur­si, CEO of UrbanV, remarked, “Our vision is to become a promi­nent glob­al oper­a­tor of ver­ti­port net­works, start­ing with Italy and France, where we are work­ing with our found­ing part­ners to estab­lish the first AAM routes on a glob­al scale.”

He con­tin­ued, “Our mis­sion is to improve people’s lives by pro­vid­ing a fast, effi­cient, safe and envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly alter­na­tive for trans­port­ing peo­ple and goods over short dis­tances by air.”

(Cred­it: The Edge Com­pa­ny)

Urban V’s Test Ver­ti­port UV‑0 ben­e­fits from a strate­gic loca­tion in a des­ig­nat­ed reg­u­la­to­ry sand­box, an exper­i­men­tal zone select­ed and approved by the Ital­ian Civ­il Avi­a­tion Author­i­ty (ENAC). 

“This unique set-up allows the test­ing of com­plex inter­faces between con­trolled air­space, sim­i­lar to that of an inter­na­tion­al civ­il air­port and the oper­a­tional air­space essen­tial for Urban Air Ser­vices (UAS),” con­tin­ues the release. “Due to this sand­box, UrbanV, togeth­er with Aero­por­ti di Roma, aims to sup­port the nation­al task force for the Imple­men­ta­tion Plan of the Ital­ian AAM Roadmap”.

The tech­nol­o­gy, devel­oped by The Edge Com­pa­ny (TEC) in Rim­i­ni, will be tri­alled along­side a range of oth­er ben­e­fi­cial tech­nolo­gies in a secure envi­ron­ment and in accor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of the Sand­box.

Fabio Mas­ci, CEO of TEC, com­ment­ed, “We have devel­oped an auto­mat­ed bird mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem based on its exten­sive expe­ri­ence in the aero­space sec­tor, com­bin­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies such as AI with nat­ur­al sci­ences, rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the approach to mit­i­gat­ing bird strikes.  Dur­ing 2018, when work­ing along­side Air­bus, we adapt­ed our BCMS sys­tem to cater for the eVTOL mar­ket, turn­ing it into “a non-coop­er­a­tive obsta­cle detec­tion.”

Fabio Mas­ci

In the Urban Air Mobil­i­ty mar­ket, any unex­pect­ed obsta­cle, whether it’s a drone fly­ing or a child play­ing, presents a safe­ty risk that requires swift detec­tion and report­ing.

Mas­ci con­clud­ed, “With our sys­tem, that has no elec­tro­mag­net­ic emis­sions and can be safe­ly installed even in res­i­den­tial areas, we ensure con­stant sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness. This added lay­er of safe­ty ben­e­fits every­one, pas­sen­gers and cit­i­zens alike.”

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(Top Image: Urban V)

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