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The MoNIfly concept proposes the integration of commercially operated drones as well as non-commercially operated unmanned vehicles in lower airspace utilizing specially tailored mobile phone network connections. For this it is assumed that each drone is required by regulation to carry a cheap datalink module on board which establishes connection with the available cellular mobile network infrastructure (comparable to cellular log-on of mobile phones). Before take-off and during operation in the shared airspace, the drone has to send its current position and other relevant information, for example mission intent, to a shared traffic surveillance and control system. The system will provide the drone as well as the operator with information on any relevant traffic or prohibited areas, enhancing the situational awareness of the operator.


Additionally, the system will determine the actual position of all connected drones within the area covered by available network cells. This provides an additional safety layer due to position information being available from independent sources. It also  allows including the position of vehicles equipped with simple cellular network datalink into the traffic management concept which do not possess independent navigation or positioning capabilities.

The MoNIfly concept visualizedThe MoNIfly concept visualized


In addition to pre-defined static geo-fenced zones, dynamic geo-fencing areas can be established which only exist temporarily and can be applied to geographical areas but also to moving vehicles. These geo-fenced areas will be used for detection of conflicts between drones and other geo-fencing areas but also between individual drones, allowing the system to suggest evasive actions to keep a drone clear of any conflict. Different areas can further be prioritized to attribute right of way to priority traffic (e.g.
rescue services).

Another application of dynamic geo-fences is seen in the application of temporary no-fly zones by competent authorities (police, fire brigades, first-line-responders). For example, during an accident, the authorities are able to create a no-fly-zone within  seconds. For the duration of rescue operations, no regular vehicles are permitted within these zones, creating a safe zone to conduct all required operations and possibly use future rescue drones without disturbances.