Collaborative autonomous drone fleets for next-level UAS operations

by Martin Cookson, Sam Turner, Stewart Marsh, Joe Smallman and Kiran Ikram | Jul 3, 2023

The commercial prospects for uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), also referred to as unmanned aircraft systems, are currently limited by persistent issues around safety. Cracking the conundrum of regulatory obstacles – related to societal acceptance – offers the keys to the future.

We believe that the answer lies in a new generation of automated, collaborative uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) fleets with pilots on the loop, not in the loop. In fact, we are sure of it – and we’ve invested in a live working demo to support the thesis.

This Innovation Briefing reveals details of that drone fleet demonstration, exciting prospective commercial use cases and the business opportunities these present for ambitious operators.

The paper focuses on three take-aways:

  • A ground-breaking application of autonomy is ready to accelerate the public acceptance and commercial viability of UAVs, transforming safety, reliability and trust
  • Advances in drone AI have unlocked a new paradigm of collaborative autonomous UAVs that are able to share tasks and respond to dynamic environments through a dynamic hierarchy of command and control
  • The unprecedented levels of teamwork will elevate current commercial applications, enable new levels of drone navigation, and unleash a new generation of novel use cases offering significant business advantage
Collaborative autonomous drone fleets for next-level UAS operations

Expert authors

Director for Digital Service Innovation | View profile

Martin specialises in helping international clients realise their ambitions through the business application of transformational new digital services that leverage AI, immersive UX, Web3, cloud computing and ubiquitous networks.

AssSystems Engineering Group Lead | View profile

Sam brings decades of experience in system engineering and embedded software design in a variety of wireless technologies, from satellite telephony to personal area networks, and in applications from high-end audio to ultra-low power medical devices. He has an MA in Mathematics and a PhD in Applied Mathematics.

Head of Aerospace | View profile

Stewart helps companies achieve technology breakthroughs that unlock transformative business value, including a world-first Push-to-Talk satellite service and a beyond visual line-of-sight UAV solution using low power satellite technology.

Technical Lead in AI and Algorithms | View profile

Joe specialises in developing real-time AI solutions within the fields of machine vision and robotics. In recent years he has focussed on translating ground-breaking advances in reinforcement learning from academia to a broad range of industrial robotic applications.

Senior AI Engineer | View profile

Kiran specialises in applying multi-agent reinforcement learning to domains where autonomous agents must learn to achieve complex tasks in a collaborative manner. Her prior work was on applying such methods in the renewable energy space.

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