Project Portal

The infrastructure launchpad for the future of flight

Project PORTAL is developing permanent or temporary weatherproof vertiport setups which are scalable, reconfigurable and rapidly deployable, providing integrated flight management at any location. 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 provides automated launch and landing capability that can be deployed at any location, for nearly any end-user, reducing the barrier to adopting future flight logistics. PORTAL makes it simple for anyone to adopt future of flight capability. If the advantages of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aviation are to be realised 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 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.

Sensoriis will develop and 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 radar antenna design.

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 the FoF industry achieve economies of scale, essential for providing inclusive transport options, benefiting all socio-economic groups.

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