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Neuron Secures Milton Keynes Council Contract to Expand Cutting-Edge Aircraft Tracking Network for Urban Drone Integration

Neuron Innovations  is excited to announce its recent contract win with Milton Keynes Council, to deploy, model and integrate aircraft and drone tracking sensors across the city. This initiative aims to enable a variety of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone applications, including public infrastructure inspections and medical drone deliveries.

Image: Herotech8, a leading UK drone-in-a-box provider conducting the UK’s first shore to ship medical delivery of COVID test kits in the Port of Montrose in April 2020.

Leading innovation in airspace integration for drones


Milton Keynes council is already acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading councils for innovation. It’s  smart city lab, was developed as a test bed for future smart technologies, with successes such as the city’s autonomous delivery robots and self driving passenger shuttles. With this project, Milton Keynes city is now poised to continue its work leading innovation in airspace integration for drones.


The project is funded by the Regulators Pioneer Fund, an initiative which aims to create a regulatory environment that gives innovative businesses the confidence to invest, innovate and deploy emerging technologies. The drone project is led by Milton Keynes Council, working in conjunction with Cranfield University’s National Drone Innovation Gateway, and the Satellite Application Catapult’s Westcott Drone Port.

Image: A Starship autonomous delivery robot delivering groceries to residents in Milton Keynes


A recognised airspace environment that tracks the positions of aircraft and drones that are flying over the city


As part of the project, Neuron Innovations shall model and deploy a range of low-cost aircraft tracking sensors, in order to provide a recognised airspace environment that tracks the positions of aircraft and drones that are flying over the city. The network will be integrated with the UKs leading ‘drone-in-a-box’ provider, Herotech8, as well as Milton Keynes ‘smart city lab’, to enable and monitor aerial drone activities within the city.


The council will be trialling two drone use cases: highways inspections to automate public infrastructure management and medical drone deliveries to expedite critical medical supplies, alleviating logistical pressures on NHS staff. If successful, this project is expected to increase high-tech, high-skilled jobs for local residents, enhance public infrastructure maintenance, and reduce traffic congestion, thereby cutting the city’s carbon emissions.


The council will ensure that the city’s airspace remains accessible to everyone


By adopting the Neuron public network for sensor integration, built on Hedera Hashgraph technology, the council will ensure that the city’s airspace remains accessible to everyone, whilst maintaining adequate safeguards to monitor and prevent unauthorised drone use. This decision shows how cities can approach drone integration, promoting free and fair competition among businesses, ensuring interoperability between aviation technologies, and delivering better value for taxpayers.

 

Further details on this 12-month project will be shared in due course.

 

Neuron Innovations, a UK-based technology firm, is the founder and leading contributor to the open-source Neuron public network software library. This peer-to-peer network offers tools for businesses and governments to build, find and connect services to their software applications. By building on Neuron, developers can improve the performance, cost and robustness of their software applications, whilst reducing the single-point-of-failure risks associated from relying on centralised service networks. More information is available on their website at www.neuron.world

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