Wednesday, May 22, 2024

OpenSky app, an air-traffic control system for drones

Wing LLC, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. that develops the technology of drone-based delivery of freight, has developed a range of tools and technology to support commercial drone delivery over the past few years. And now, with more drones in the sky, it needs a way to keep them safe.

On Tuesday, Wing released a new app called “OpenSky” that can be used as a traffic-control system for drones. It’s been approved to manage drone flights in Australia. When a drone flyer enters the location, the Australian OpenSky app provides a checklist covering a range of critical factors, including airspace restrictions, known hazardous situations, and proximity to airports and heliports.

OpenSky app users in Australia will also be given alerts related to emergency response situations, nearby sporting events, or other situations that may impact available airspace. It will help the drone operators comply with aviation rules and allow aircraft to navigate safely at low altitudes.

The free app is available to Australian users of Apple Inc. and Android operating systems. There is also a PC version. OpenSky will also introduce voice capabilities to improve the accessibility for a broader range of flyers, the company said in a blog post.

The company has made 80,000 test flights using its OpenSky app in three continents. Wing hopes that OpenSky will ultimately allow all aviation communities to fly with greater confidence, and in doing so, provide greater access to the sky.