Image: Inmarsat

A new partnership between Inmarsat and Singapore-based Heron will set the standard for uncrewed aircraft airspace integration worldwide, after the two companies signed an MoU enable the safe integration of uncrewed aircraft into Singapore’s commercial airspace.

Inmarsat will integrate its Velaris, a reliable command and control (C2) datalink built for UAVs, with Heron’s AirBridge, a complete and flexible UTM system.

Inmarsat will also supply Heron with its low size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) Velaris satellite terminals for UAVs, delivering the secure datalink needed for Beyond Visible Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. The collaboration will mark the first deployment of Velaris technology in Asia Pacific and trials will commence later this year.

Inmarsat and Heron will leverage the Velaris Partner Network, working with stakeholders across the aviation community to develop regulatory frameworks and technologies that will boost Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) numbers in Singapore’s airspace and provide a blueprint for successful integration that can be rolled out worldwide.

A sector poised for growth

Joel Klooster, senior vice president, Aircraft Operations & Safety, Inmarsat Aviation, said “Uncrewed aviation is a sector poised for growth. The air vehicles and communications technology are ready, but unlocking their full potential hinges on consistent, global regulatory progress.

“Together with Heron, we are creating a blueprint for the integrated airspace of the future. Inmarsat’s Velaris technology, coupled with Heron’s regional domain expertise, will ensure operators of airspace and UAVs have the tools they need to drive regulatory acceptance in the region and beyond.”

Ryan Lee, CEO and Co-Founder, Heron AirBridge, added: “Our partnership with Inmarsat is a major step towards increasing UAV integration into Singapore’s crowded airspace and updating regulation so that our efforts can be replicated worldwide. Working together, we look to establish Singapore as a world leader in this burgeoning sector, sharing our vision of creating value through the utilisation of low-level airspace globally. Inmarsat was the sure partner in powering the movement, with Velaris ensuring that we’re equipped with the core network and datalink capabilities we need to drive UAV integration.”

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