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Critical Infrastructure Resilience Integrated Aviation System

CIRIAS is a programme to develop an integrated end-to-end ‘system of systems’ to enable unmanned drones to fly long range missions Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), with the aim of sustaining critical UK infrastructure.

The threats of climate change, economic uncertainty, and more recently a global pandemic, present risks to the health, well-being, and security of the UK population. CIRIAS is designed to minimise these risks by increasing the reliability of the infrastructure required to sustain our society, enabling planes to fly, trains to run, roads to remain available, and facilities to operate.

Neuron’s technology is a key part of making our airways safe for multiple users while flying BVLOS, and Neuron works with a wide range of other organisations to support this mission, understanding that permanent change comes about through true partnership working and collaboration, with a keen focus on achieving the end goal.

Developed by a team comprising large global companies, major asset owners and operators, niche technology specialists, and leading consultants and academics, our project will develop all the elements of a system that will:

  • Automate the inspection and monitoring of the condition of roads, railways, and airports.

  • Rapidly respond to unplanned incidents to restore infrastructure to operational readiness.

  • Make critical deliveries of essential products and services regardless of traffic conditions.

These elements comprise:

  • A statement of work and trade study that identifies the appropriate UAS platforms to employ and integrate into our system of systems in order to most effectively achieve the use case goals that were identified.

  • A design and architecture of a system of systems that includes the advanced avionics, communications, and navigation systems to support safe, collision-free beyond visual line of sight drone operations.

  • *A system used to plan, test, and simulate drone missions to enable stakeholder engagement and the gaining of regulatory approvals.

  •  An integrated changeable payload capability to enable precision data capture from the air, as well as delivery and collection of critical payloads.

  • Automated data processing and analysis capability to derive maximum value from every data acquisition mission

  • A system for control of operational airspace below 400 feet to enable mission planning and compliance in increasingly crowded airspace.

  • A tactile stakeholder management system to gain social acceptance of all proposed missions.

The integration of these elements will be demonstrated through key commercially viable missions to inspect the condition of critical infrastructure and respond to defects or incidents at a global hub airport and on a national railway network, as well as making critical deliveries to public health facilities.

This integrated capability will contribute to keeping Britain moving, protecting the health of the nation and keeping workplaces operational.

The learning from the development of this project will also be used to inform the greater commercialisation of low-level airspace to support more flexible and sustainable public transport and delivery services.


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