mission article image | BVLOS InC.

BVLOS Innovation Centre Mission – Advance the RPAS Ecosystem

The BVLOS Innovation Centre is part of a profound shift within aviation where RPAS technologies are destined to complement, not replace, traditional aviation offerings. Full RPAS integration is expected to offer increased:

a) efficiencies (tasks are completed faster and more accurately),
b) safety (removal of people from tedious and hazardous conditions), and
c) effectiveness of service delivery (data and goods).

The current transition to Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) RPAS operations is a key enabler to achieving this vision. To achieve routine BVLOS operations (the primary reason that the BVLOS Innovation Centre was created), three interrelated requirements of advancing capability, ensuring safety, and building trust must be addressed. Innovative ideas will provide exceptional capabilities that, when fully proven safe, will develop confidence among all stakeholders.

Advancing Capability

Advancing capability is accomplished by pursuing innovative projects that resolve barriers to RPAS adoption which exist across all fronts: technology, policy, regulations, standards, and so forth.

We define innovation as a good idea – applied. Innovative projects must address a significant need and be proven to be effective and safe.

Past projects by BVLOS InC, others that are ongoing, and still others awaiting the right resources and timing have originated from a carefully curated list that we have developed to advance the RPAS sector. For those RPAS capabilities, what remains constant is the need to prove the capability to the rigour expected of the aerospace industry and the public before they can be adopted.

Relevant RPAS innovations are occurring from both traditional aviation companies as well as newcomers seeking to apply their innovations and expertise to the RPAS sector. While significant capabilities have already been demonstrated and some are now beginning to be accepted as BVLOS enablers and/or facilitating airspace integration, many complex problems remain to be solved. We continually look to integrate BVLOS enabling ideas with delivery partners.

Ensuring Safety

As we assist RPAS companies to achieve their BVLOS aspirations, almost every discussion about a specific technology, an operational capability, or a training concept reminds us of the primary goal of ensuring safety. It is the rigour expected of the aviation industry and a requirement for RPAS integration into non-segregated airspace.

Regulators are responsible for reviewing operator declarations of air and ground safety when approving BVLOS operations. Safety requirements are described in regulations and supported by robust processes such as Operational Risk Assessments (ORA). The ORA is a detailed mechanism for operators to present a detailed safety case comprised of technical, operational, and organizational evidence relative to a Concept of Operations (ConOps) they are proposing.

All claims made in the ORA need to be supported by the right degree of evidence. Although uncommon, the best-in-class suppliers will provide proof of their technical compliance to known standards, design their products with redundancy, test their software, and openly share their best practices. The BVLOS Innovation Centre has extensive technical knowledge and operational experience as well as regulatory compliance expertise to guide RPAS organizations through the presentation of their detailed safety case that can withstand 3rd Party Review. Any evidence gaps identified during the process can be resolved through elements of operational flight testing, crew training, systems integration, and technical testing. We ensure that you are able to develop the right airworthiness evidence for your RPAS.

Building Trust

Many companies are seeking early market share within a total RPAS ecosystem that includes themselves, clients, competitors, regulators, insurers, the public, and so forth. The provision of verifiable safety evidence builds a foundation of trust that is essential for RPAS to be adopted into non-segregated airspace at scale.

Trust is also earned through consistent actions across all activities that align self-interest with the greater good of the RPAS sector. The overpromise of a technology or capability eventually results in a breach of stakeholder trust (inflated expectations) making it harder to convince stakeholders of other legitimate progress, both now and in the future. Trust is built through accurately reporting our collective achievements; through evidence-based advocacy; by making it clear what value each advancement, achievement, or advocacy has in moving the sector toward full integration.

The BVLOS Innovation Centre endeavours to be both accurate and agnostic in the way we report achievements within the sector. We do not compete with operators, and the work we do to help them achieve their RPAS aspirations and success is covered by non-disclosure agreements. We believe this perspective requires a higher standard of us to be unbiased in our communications, in review of proposed changes to the regulations, while serving on advisory committees, when reviewing technical standards toward the development of regulations, and when providing evidence of safety. We recognize that trust is like the growing balance of a savings account – built one deposit at a time, over time.

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About: BVLOS Innovation Centre (BVLOS InC) formalizes the long-standing relationship between the Foremost UAS Test Range and the technical, operational, and regulatory compliance expertise of UxS Consulting Limited. The partnership creates a cohesive set of capabilities to enable RPAS organizations achieve their BVLOS aspirations.