"The high level of security played a major role when it came to choosing Telekom as our partner."
Michael Anger, Gründer von Unisphere
Planning safe drone flights – with the cloud
There will soon be a lot of busy drone traffic in our airspace: According to a study by the Allianz Industrial Insurance Group AGCS, around 2.7 million commercial drones will already be in service worldwide by 2020. According to the industry news website, drohnen-journal.de, more than 20,000 professional drones were already operating in Germany in 2017, and in Switzerland the first delivery services have already started, for example to quickly supply emergency services and hospitals with blood reserves by air.
A big challenge for drone operators is getting the unmanned and automated aircraft to their destination safely and on time – without collisions or crashes. This is where Unisphere comes in. The start-up, founded in 2017 and located in the Business Incubation Center of the European Space Agency ESA in Oberpfaffenhofen, has developed a flight management platform for drones, air taxis and high-flying platforms: "Automated flying drones must achieve the same safety level that is standard for all aircraft in aviation today," says co-founder and board member Michael Anger. "Our Flight Management Platform ensures this: Using the route, the predicted energy consumption and the weather data, our software calculates safe flight plans for commercial drones.”
Founder of Unisphere
Trained commercial pilot Christoph Schlettig (left) and aviation engineer Michael Anger.
Run computationally-intensive processes with scalable cloud capacities
The calculations involved can become a challenge depending on the situation: In the event of spontaneous weather changes, for example, or heavy air traffic, all data must be recalculated in real time – a task for the Open Telekom Cloud.
For example, the start-up requires an extraordinary amount of memory to store historical and current weather data from satellites. Unisphere relies on the Open Telekom Cloud’s Object Based Storage (OBS) for this. To process the data and calculate new routes in real time, Unisphere also uses high-performance virtual machines from the Elastic Cloud Server (ECS). And communication is encrypted via Virtual Private Network (VPN).
"We call up all these resources from the Open Telekom Cloud as required. This gives us the opportunity to form both highly dynamic and also more static computing clusters," says Christoph Schlettig, who founded the company together with Michael Anger. Security and data protection are also extremely important for the start-up. The Open Telekom Cloud is hosted in multi-certified, highly secure data centers in Saxony-Anhalt. Schlettig: "Germany as a data center location was an important criterion when choosing Telekom as a partner.”
Unisphere specializes in flight management and consulting in the areas of commercial drones, air taxis and high-flying drones. The experts use their platform to calculate certified flight plans for commercial drones based on energy consumption and weather data – for example for a delivery service that ensures that blood reserves reach hospitals by the air in the shortest possible time.
By 2020, 2.7 million drones will already be on the move worldwide
Automated flying drones need safe flight plans that can be adjusted in real time as required.
A lot of memory is required for the constantly growing amount of historical and current weather data.
Unisphere needs strong computing capacities and the highest levels of data security and data protection.
Scalable storage and computing resources for big data analytics, graphic applications and high-performance computing from the Open Telekom Cloud
High-performance Object Based Storage (OBS) for storing large amounts of data
Virtual Private Network (VPN) for encrypted data transfer
Certified data centers in Germany
Unisphere benefits from the flexible resource allocation and the almost unlimited scalability of the Open Telekom Cloud
Storage space for historical weather data can be expanded almost at will
Thanks to certified data centers in Germany, the flight management data is processed in accordance with the requirements of the GDPR.