Last month, Inmarsat expanded the Partner Network for its Velaris UAV connectivity solution by adding the software company Dimetor, and Bellwether Industries, an UAM solutions provider focused on intra-city travel.

Established in 2021, the Partner Network encourages collaborations involving Inmarsat’s Velaris connectivity solution. The solution allows commercial UAVs to operate long-distance flights and access applications to ensure safe integration with aircraft in commercial airspace. Other members of the partnership include Altitude Angel, an uncrewed traffic management (UTM) technology provider, and Harvest Technology Group, which specializes in ultra-low bandwidth livestreaming technology.

According to Anthony Spouncer, Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs and Uncrewed Traffic Management, these partnerships enable Inmarsat to work with companies that are often left out of the UAV discussion.

“With Bellwether and Dimetor, we’re bringing in companies that provide an alternative view on the future of uncrewed aviation and providing a voice through our ecosystem,” he said. “We’re delighted to welcome these companies as members of our Velaris Partner Network, especially at this incredibly buoyant time in the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) and urban air mobility spaces.”

Spouncer believes these “innovative collaborations, powered by the unparalleled capabilities of Inmarsat’s ELERA L-band satellite network, are fantastic news for uncrewed aviation and will directly benefit customers across this growing industry.”

For the collaboration, Dimetor’s AirborneRF solution, which brings together live radio network data from terrestrial Mobile Network Operators (MNO) with UAV airspace control systems, will be combined with Inmarsat’s Velaris satellite communications capabilities. Through this effort, UAV operators will have access to integrated terrestrial and space-based datalink communication coverage data, allowing for the safe routing of UAVs to be controlled within a three-dimensional airspace safety corridor with assured safety connectivity.

“Partnering with Dimetor is a crucial next step in the development of accessible BVLOS UAV solutions, particularly those that come at an attainable price point without compromising on reach and quality of coverage,” Spouncer stated. “The combination of 4G and 5G with Inmarsat’s highly reliable, always-on ELERA network, visualized by AirborneRF, will be the best way to plan efficient Line of Sight (LOS) and BVLOS operations. This will be a game changer for the industry, offering world-first technologies within an affordable and efficient solution for UAV operators.”

Inmarsat’s collaboration with Bellwether Industries will focus on the ways satellite communications can improve intra-city transportation services. Vehicles like the Bellwether Volar private urban aircraft will integrate Inmarsat’s Velaris connectivity solution. This integration, the companies believe, will result in the ability to report accurate positional information back from onboard satellite navigation systems and utilize this data for UTM.

“Our partnership with Bellwether will be critical in the development of safe and efficient intra-city transportation services with passenger experience as their driving force,” asserted Spouncer. “Together we’re defining a new category of transportation that is passenger orientated by design, prioritizing safety and regulation.”