BAE Systems will invest $508 million to revive an industry-led effort to establish regulations and technology for the integration of unmanned air vehicles into the U.K. national airspace, FlightGlobal reported Tuesday.
Beth Stevenson writes the U.K. government’s business department previously funded the Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment program before it cancelled the effort to focus on smaller-scale programs.
The report said BAE has decided to restart the program and begin flights using the Jetstream 31 testbed that was previously used for ASTRAEA in a push to continue tests on the needed technology for the airspace integration.
“The results of the trials will inform the direction of the company’s future unmanned aircraft program, and the suitability of testing unmanned aircraft in the UK,” BAE said in a statement, according to the report.
The company added it plans to conduct 17 test flights in efforts to check the maturity and safety of UAVs operated from the ground using a satellite communications link.