Helix Geospace wins UK grant for GNSS antennas for drone swarms

August 29, 2022  - By
Photo: Windracers

Photo: Windracers

Helix Geospace will participate in the “Future flights challenge phase 3” project by Innovate UK involving drone swarms. The project aims to demonstrate how large unmanned systems can be used to solve environmental-protection concerns in GNSS-denied environments, functioning in swarms and utilizing a combination of digital twinning, computer vision and real-world flight testing.

Other project participants include Windracers, Distributed Avionics, University of Bristol and University of Sheffield.

The goal of the project is to prove that a single remote operator and local safety pilot can handle many unmanned devices and maintain continuous communication in GNSS-denied environments.

Commercially available antennas are susceptible to jamming and spoofing. DielectriX antennas from Helix Geospace are built into a sophisticated array system that can detect all jamming and spoofing events, pinpoint their precise source, and then eliminate their impact, maintaining the accuracy and resilience of GNSS positioning, navigation and timing in GNSS-denied environments.

Collaboration with NERC British Antarctic Survey and Lancashire fire and rescue will provide proof of exploitation and public engagement for the project. The Windracers aircraft will be equipped with British Antarctic Survey scientific research equipment and flown in the Antarctica region to gather novel research data, previously not achieved before at this scale.

The collaboration with Lancashire fire and rescue will help develop a solution for early fire detection and mitigation. The Windracers aircraft will be retrofitted with sensors and fire mitigation technology providing an airborne system that will patrol high-risk areas.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.