Project Portal

The infrastructure launchpad for the future of flight

The project will focus on developing a scalable, reconfigurable, and rapidly deployable automated vertiport capability.

This technology will serve permanent vertiports, new bespoke vertiports and retro-fitted installations on car parks or roof tops as well as supporting temporary operations as a pop-up vertiport for events or disaster-relief.

The project will make it easy for any business to become a drone capable operation.

To unlock the Future of Flight (FoF) potential and realise the 2% uptick in GDP (PriceWaterhouseCoopers forecast), scalable infrastructure to enable landing and take-off needs to be developed.

PORTAL is a disruptive system-of-systems approach to infrastructure technology for vertiports, and this project will develop the technology needed to safely deploy landing locations at scale.

By leveraging automation to manage drone traffic through on-ground situational awareness and connectivity, locations can reduce specialist staff, and in-turn, reduce operational costs.

PORTAL will make it easy for any business to become a drone capable operation, and will be able to serve new bespoke vertiports, be retro-fitted for installations on car parks, or roof tops.

If the advantages of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aviation are to be realized in a sustainable and future proof way, it is essential to invest in the infrastructure of vertiports: not just pads but safe, efficient, scalable, and resilient systems to transition people and goods from ground to air and vice versa.

This is exactly the focus of project PORTAL – efficiency and scalability arising from detailed design optimisation of vertiport systems offering high throughput flight capacity in a modular format.

Safety and resilience are provided by precise monitoring and control, not just of air vehicle movements but all the associated ground handling operations in the immediate air and ground environments.

SLiNK-TECH, who are leading the project, will further develop their existing situational awareness and vertiport management capability, and integrate advanced sensing technology, from Cambridge Sensoriis, innovative guidance beacons, from R4DAR Technologies, and secure-by-design communications, from ANGOKA.

The University of Bristol will be supporting the project with research into the airspace operational logic, supporting data analytics and providing flight test facilities through their Robotics Flight Lab.

Snowdonia Aerospace Centre and Auriga Aerospace will provide operational support for the larger scale, harsh operational environment demonstrations featured during the project.

PORTAL’s sensor technology and management software is modular for cost-effectively deployment and ease of configuration. Advanced situational awareness for both the ground-space and immediate airspace, provides precise monitoring and control, not just of air-vehicle movements but of all the associated ground handling operations in the immediate environment.

PORTAL will manage all-weather operations (low-visibility, harsh environments), enable secure connectivity to air-vehicles, ground assets, and cloud-based systems (UTM, remote operation centres), and provides system resilience and fault tolerance by design.

Cambridge Sensoriis will develop & integrate their innovative RadarAware radar system into PORTAL, and will greatly increase the radar detection distance, particularly for non-cooperative targets, and include a new antenna design and an elevation measuring dimension.

By solving the challenge of FoF landing-site automation at scale, PORTAL will:

  • Enable more business to participate in the FoF-ecosystem by reducing the business cost, risk and complexity of drone network implementation, across the range of use cases.
  • Reduce cost and complexity of drone development testing and certification, reducing time-to-market of other key FoF technologies.
  • Support FoF industry achieve economies of scale, essential for providing inclusive transport options, benefiting all socio-economic groups.

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