MPA partners with Airbus and M1 to conduct 5G drone trials

Singapore is ranked one of the largest seaport in the world, which in comparison to the country's small size, is an astounding achievement.

The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has partnered with Airbus, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and M1 Limited (M1) to conduct coastal 5G standalone network trials at the Singapore Maritime Drone Estate.

In a statement, MPA said the parties will conduct 5G standalone trials in real-world environments to ensure unmanned aerial vehicles can operate safely and efficiently during all phases of their flights, including operations in the designated drone-fly zones. 

MPA said the project “continues Singapore’s efforts to build an open and inclusive 5G innovative ecosystem around the use cases of port operations, and incident management and response”.

M1 will provide 4G and 5G network planning, including data collection for performance and coverage analysis of mobile network in the operating areas, network parameter optimisation and implementation of interference minimisation methods.

The company will assess the use of 4G and 5G technologies to provide enhanced geo-location positioning information for all phases of UAS flight using network-based information, which is more precise than the current Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technologies.

TeamOne aims to design and develop the world’s first aeronautical certified 5G standalone communication modem for urban air mobility (UAM) operations.

Airbus will provide a fleet of UAS for safe-flight testing and commit its expertise in the integration of the unmanned aircraft for the trials, ensuring that the UAS flight operations meet safety and regulatory requirements.

The findings from these trials will help form a better understanding of evolving 5G standards, their feasibility and requirements for UAM applications, and future citywide UAS operations in Singapore’s urban and coastal environment.

The establishment of a standard, the parties say, will open up the possibility for safe adoption of 5G as a core technology used in unmanned aircraft designs and operations.

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA, said: “Given the growing need to create more efficient and sustainable solutions for the maritime industry, MPA supported the world’s first ship-to-shore drone delivery trial by Airbus and Wilhelmsen last year.

“We look forward to deepening the collaboration with Airbus and M1 to pilot innovative use cases for 5G technology in the maritime industry.”  

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