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Lichtenau / Baden, Germany, 8th October 2019 – LS telcom‘s subsidiary Colibrex organises a workshop on drone-based systems for navigational aid inspection on 5th – 6th November 2019 at Baden-Airpark, Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden Airport in South Germany. During the workshop, Colibrex will present its instrument landing system (ILS) measurement technology via drone and will conduct several NavAidDrone flights in and around Baden-Airpark airport to demonstrate the live measurements of its drone-based system. The NavAidDrone is used for field measurements required for commissioning and regular maintenance of Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) and other NavAids systems like VOR. Baden-Airpark airport is equipped with Instrument Landing System CAT III.
The workshop will also cover the following topics:
- Challenges when measuring ILS signals on a moving and overhanging platform
- Comprehensive system integration as key for accurate ILS measurements
- Software-based NAVAID inspection workflow as facilitator for CNS engineers
- Drone-based VOR measurements
- Absolute field strengths measurements for applications such as GBAS
- Possibilities of drone-based measurements for navigation radars
Luc Haeberlé, Managing Director of Colibrex explains:
“Showing live measurements of our NavAidDrone under real conditions is the best way to demonstrate the capabilities and different use cases of our solution to air navigation service providers, NAVAID system manufacturers and CNS installation and maintenance service engineers. They can gain insight into the quality and precision of the measurement results and the workflows to be implemented around the solution, and they will see how little, if at all, the drone intervenes with airport operations. We are looking forward to presenting the many advantages of the drone-based NAVAID measurements compared to conventional solutions. It is the first event related to drone technology applied to NAVAID measurements.”
There will also be time for networking and discussion among the attendants and experts. For further information on the event download the workshop flyer.
The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy has recently published a brochure called "Unmanned flying in the service of man, nature and society".
Read more about the article of Colibrex that has been published in this brochure (Article and brochure in GERMAN):
Beginning of November 2018, the NavAidDrone from Colibrex and FCS Flight Calibration Services was employed at Hannover International Airport in Germany during the commissioning of a new Instrument Landing System. As part of the measurement process of the Glide Path antenna, our team conducted several measurement flights to generate very precise DDM (Difference of Depth of Modulation) measurement curves above and below the 3° approach path of the new 09R ILS at 1 km distance from the threshold. The measurement flights were monitored not only in the control tower of Hannover airport, but also at the DFS headquarters in Langen via the new DFS/Telekom U:CON drone tracking system. The flights were very successful and form an important impulse for the rapid operational introduction of measurement drones for ground measurements of the numerous Instrument Landing Systems installed worldwide.
Watch the video here.
Lichtenau / Baden, Germany, 5th March 2018 – Following a joint-development effort with FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH, LS telcom’s Colibrex announces the launch of NavAidDrone, a drone-based system for navigational aid (NAVAID) inspections.
The NavAidDrone is used for field measurements required for commissioning and regular maintenance of Instrument Landing Systems (ILS). It will support Air Navigation Service Providers, NAVAID system manufacturers, and CNS (communication, navigation, surveillance) installation and maintenance service engineers. The system can also perform VOR and GBAS measurements with additional software included.
Measurement data, processed by the NavAidDrone, will now be available for areas that cannot be accessed by vehicles or conventional telescopic masts and for which measurement was therefore previously not possible. For instance, the NavAidDrone measures localizer coverage with ease in a sector of ± 35° towards the antenna as it can be fully programmed to fly orbit paths. The airborne measurement system can also detect high frequency oscillations of ILS signals caused by buildings, cranes or other construction work obstacles.
Luc Haeberlé, Managing Director of Colibrex explains, “The integrated high-performing FCS receiver guarantees extremely accurate measurement results. At the same time, the flexible airborne platform delivers a much higher volume of measurement points and results, compared to ground measurements. Altogether, the measurement results obtained with the NavAidDrone are much more comprehensive and precise and improve ILS periodical measurements, adjustment and maintenance work substantially. At the same time, the use of NavAidDrone is more cost-effective and will also potentially reduce flight inspection hours.”
Rüdiger Schmidt, Managing Director of FCS, adds, “Drone-based ILS measurement opens the way to a new era in NAVAIDS inspection and FCS together with Colibrex are at the forefront of this exciting and complementary approach to flight inspection. Flight inspection and ground measurements should go hand in hand to ensure the best performance of our client's NavAids. Our exciting new technology very effectively bridges the gap between the two worlds.”
The NavAidDrone unites the flight inspection and receiving and processing expertise of FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH and Colibrex’s expertise in the design and international commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems for radio frequency measurements.
Colibrex and FCS are planning a follow-up development and launch of the “RadarDrone” to perform field measurements for commissioning, trouble-shooting and regular maintenance of military and civil radar and surveillance systems, including primary (PR) and secondary (SSR/MSSR) radar installations. The Air Navigation Service Providers and CNS maintenance staff, radar system manufacturers and radar service organisations will benefit from this new drone-based measurement technology.
Malaysian Digital TV broadcaster MYTV verifies transmission installation via drone based measurements
Rheinmuenster, Germany – Colibrex, the pioneer and worldwide market leader in drone based radio frequency measurements, today announced that it has recently completed countrywide antenna measurements for the Malaysian DVB-T2 broadcast operator MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd. It is the first time that these drone measurements are performed in Asia.
The new Malaysian DVB-T2 broadcast operator MYTV is in the midst of implementing and rolling out their nationwide Digital TV network. As part of the network deployment, MYTV has to install new DVB-T2 transmitter systems all over the country. As most of the new antennas have to be mounted on existing towers, it is even more crucial to verify the transmission characteristics of these new installations.
Colibrex and its long-standing Malaysian partner Wamata Solutions Sdn Bhd started work several months ahead of the actual measurements to obtain the necessary flight approvals and to schedule the flights. The work included organizing the logistics, coordinating the measurement flights with various authorities and obtaining appropriate approvals, e.g. from the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
The drone measurements enabled MYTV to detect installation errors, incorrect antenna configurations and factory faults on the newly installed antennas. MYTV was able to take immediate corrective measures together with the system supplier.
“We are excited to be the first broadcaster in Asia to use Colibrex´s drone based measurement, and the results have been encouraging. Knowing how the antennas perform in their real environment and having the opportunity to immediately engage corrective measures with the system supplier or with the owner of the masts are of great benefit to MYTV. The Colibrex solution led to savings in both costs and time. We are already preparing the measurement of additional sites as we believe we will realize the same positive impact on our budget and time schedules as with the preceding measurements,” said Michael Chan, CEO of MYTV.
Colibrex has already realized over eight hundred successful measurements in similar projects across Europe, Africa, North and South America.
For more information please contact Info(at)Colibrex.com
LS telcom’s Colibrex conducted broadcast antenna measurements via unmanned aerial system for Teracom, one of the Nordic region’s leading radio and television operators. The antenna pattern measurements were performed in October, 2016 on eleven transmitter sites, including fourteen antennas.
Martin Litnäs, the technical specialist for broadcast antennas at Teracom answers our questions about this innovative broadcast measurement project at Teracom:
Teracom has chosen a very innovative method for measuring their broadcast antennas.
Why and how have you decided to use the measurement service via drone?
Martin Litnäs: Teracom employed a full-term pilot to carry out the company’s antenna measurements via manned helicopter. When the employee retired, we decided to look at alternative measurement methods and we found Colibrex. Colibrex’s measurement service via remotely piloted aircraft is unparalleled. The measurement results and the many advantages of RPA measurements absolutely convinced us. Colibrex has already performed measurements in several other countries, i.e. in Switzerland.
We have been trying their service on a number of stations, and we may stop using a manned helicopter altogether in the long run.
What are the benefits of using drones instead of a manned helicopter to carry out antenna measurements?
Martin Litnäs: It is definitely more cost-effective for us. We also save time on the preparation; planning and renting the helicopter takes more time than deploying the drone measurement service. The results are available quicker, too. Besides that, measurements by drone are possible in areas where the manned helicopter cannot fly at all. With drones, we can also measure antennas on very low masts and on building tops. Finally, the drone is more environment-friendly and does not disturb agriculture in the same way as a manned helicopter. Cow farmers frequently complain when we deploy the manned helicopter, as cows are very sensitive to the helicopter’s noise.
How does the measurement by drone work exactly then?
Martin Litnäs: The unmanned aerial system consists of the drone, which is equipped with a measurement sensor, with GPS based high-resolution position and orientation sensors, an autopilot, a data processor, a telemetry system and specific radio frequency (RF) shielding.
It needs an experienced pilot and a measurement engineer to run the service. During the flight, it is very important to keep the drone at the right height and the correct speed and distance from the mast. The drone follows preprogrammed waypoints and in case of failure, the drone returns to its base remotely controlled. Line-of-sight between the pilot and the drone must always be maintained.
Do you need any special flight permits?
Martin Litnäs: Prior to the flights, you have to obtain all the necessary flight authorizations. Special authorizations are requested for certain heights, especially above 300m. In certain (military) restricted zones, you have to adhere to particular timeframes. Each flight has to be coordinated with the local control tower.
How often do you measure?
Martin Litnäs: We measure according to needs, several times a year. We measure new and old antennas to verify that they function according to the requirements.
What about the validity of the drone measurements?
Martin Litnäs: The results achieved by the measurements via drone are as reliable as the results measured with a manned helicopter. We carried out test measurements around selected sites, with both, drone and manned helicopter. The helicopter measurement results confirmed the results obtained via the drone measurement.
LS telcom´s subsidiary Colibrex, the worldwide leader in airborne RF measurement, has recently completed broadcast measurements in Cedar Hill, Texas, USA, via unmanned aerial system (UAS, i.e. drone). The measurement validated both the horizontal and vertical transmission patterns of a newly installed broadband antenna for a television station. Leveraging the precision flight of the UAS combined with a specialized measurement payload, the key data was captured over a two-day period at the Cedar Hill facility beginning of this month, as part of the local network’s preparation for the upcoming repack.
“We are pleased to be able to bring this innovative technology to US broadcasters. As the industry faces the compressed time frame of the repack, Colibrex’s UAS Broadcast Measurement can optimize installations and rapidly provide broadcasters with the key baseline measurement of their network’s performance,” said Casey Joseph, Vice President of LS telcom Inc (LS telcom partner of Colibrex in the US). Broadcasters preparing for network equipment upgrades can include UAS Broadcast Measurement as a service in their network repack plans being filed with the FCC.
With over eight hundred successful measurements to its credit, Colibrex is the global leader in UAS Broadcast Measurement. The processes and procedures for these measurements have been approved for operations in over fifteen different countries around the world. For the Cedar Hill measurement, Colibrex operated via LS telcom Inc under an FAA approved Part 107 waiver giving access to the necessary airspace for the mission.
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