According to a raft of prognoses, German skies will become increasingly populated by unmanned aircraft – drones – in the years to come. That raises questions of how to ensure safety and practicality, so that drones reach their destinations unharmed.
The answer provided by Michael Anger and Christoph Schlettig’s start-up Unisphere from the southern German city of Konstanz is software that utilizes the knowledge and skills of actual pilots. Schlettig flies himself, and the pair took part in the 2016 round-the-world solar flight project Solar Impulse.
That software improves not only safety, but also efficiency, calculating optimal flight routes based on considerations including wind and temperature, energy use and no-flight zones. Unisphere is, for instance, already working with a company that sends large-scale helicopter drones hundreds of kilometers out to sea to monitor ship emissions.
“Only when this sort of flight management is automated, will drones be scalable,” the two entrepreneurs told business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.