Droniq sees itself as the leading digital platform for unmanned aviation, enabling professional drone flights that are safe and in compliance with applicable regulations. Droniq combines the aviation expertise of DFS, the German air navigation service provider, and the competence in mobile communications of Deutsche Telekom, the integrated telecommunications company. Droniq offers a solution that integrates drones safely and sustainably into airspace and enables flights beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) by providing a UAS traffic management system (UTM) based on innovative mobile communications technology.
Droniq is a joint venture between DFS and Deutsche Telekom founded at the beginning of 2019. The object of the company is the provision, distribution and marketing of services for drones and other unmanned aircraft in Europe. DFS holds a stake of 51 percent through its subsidiary DFS International Business Services GmbH (DFS IBS), while Deutsche Telekom holds a stake of 49 percent through Telekom Innovation Pool GmbH.
The Managing Director of Droniq GmbH is Jan-Eric Putze (since 1 January 2019). He had previously been Managing Director of R. Eisenschmidt GmbH, a subsidiary of DFS. Representing Deutsche Telekom as Managing Director is Ralph Schepp, previously Vice President for technology innovations at Deutsche Telekom AG.
Jan-Eric Putze is a graduate banking specialist and flight instructor with an airline transport pilot licence who joined DFS as a consultant in 2007. In 2014, he switched to R. Eisenschmidt GmbH and led the company from 2016 on.
Ralph Schepp is a graduate of business administration and has worked in information and communications technology (ICT) for more than 15 years. At Deutsche Telekom AG, he led the units Spectrum and Technology Strategy for the group.
Droniq GmbH is headquartered at the Europaturm in Frankfurt, Germany (address: Ginnheimer Stadtweg 88, 60431 Frankfurt, Germany).
DFS and Deutsche Telekom started the Connected Drones research project in September 2016. The objective of the project was the safe and efficient integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into very low level (VLL) airspace with the aid of the mobile communications network. Numerous tests proved that UAS could be tracked and monitored using the mobile communications network, even beyond the visual line of sight of the remote pilot. DFS developed a UAS traffic management system (UTM) to display and process the UAS position data. This is based on the Phoenix air traffic management system, which is in use in air traffic control around the world. DFS is a pioneer in European UTM development. The Connected Drones project won the German Mobility Award 2018. The founding of Droniq on 17 December 2018 saw the successful conclusion of this project.
DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS) is a State-owned company under private law with 5,400 employees as at 31 December 2018 and is responsible for the safe, expeditious and punctual handling of air traffic in Germany. Around 2,000 air traffic controllers guide up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, about three million movements every year. This makes Germany the country with the highest traffic volume in Europe. The company operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich as well as control towers at the 16 designated international airports in Germany. www.dfs.de
With around 178 million mobile customers, 28 million fixed network and 20 million broadband lines, Deutsche Telekom AG is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies. It provides fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, internet, and IPTV products and services for consumers, and information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries. With a staff of some 216,000 employees throughout the world, it generated revenue of EUR 75.7 billion in the 2018 financial year, about 66 percent of it outside Germany (correct at 31 DEC 2018). www.telekom.com
Droniq offers a broad-based entry into the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that complies with applicable regulations, especially for drone flights beyond the visual line of sight. We are introducing the first UAS traffic management system (UTM) operational in Germany on the market to integrate drones safely and fairly into airspace. The system is currently available in a beta version.
Droniq offers individual service packages on its platform, including SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment), the applications for permission to conduct specific drone missions from the aeronautical authorities of the German Federal States (Landesluftfahrtbehörden), training and testing (Drohnenführerschein, drone licence) as well as arranging suitable partners for the planning, conduct and follow-up of the flight (data analysis and reports).
In addition, it offers other services that are closely connected with the complete air situation display of lower airspace down to the ground for other users. For statutory authorities, digital interfaces to grant permission for specific drone operations and to set up temporary no-fly zones are available.
The UTM from Droniq can be used by the following customers:
- Commercial operators
- Operators that fly beyond the visual line of sight (to inspect or patrol power lines and pipelines, for example)
- Organisations performing statutory safety or security missions, such as the fire, police or emergency services and their on-scene commanders or their operations centres.
- Statutory authorities that intend on granting permission digitally for drone operations with the aid of the UTM or on defining temporary no-fly zones themselves (during large-scale events, for example).
- General aviation users who might be interested in an air situation display that stretches down to the ground.
The UTM offers services fundamental to the safe operation of UAS in airspace for all phases of flight (pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight phases).
In the pre-flight phase, operators can register themselves in the UTM and plan their missions. They can also double check them – Are there any no-fly zones or airspace restrictions? Are there any other registered flight movements? Do I need to obtain permission to conduct operations or a SORA?
In the in-flight phase, operators can track their drone in real time and observe other aircraft in a combined air situation display, including those outside the visual line of sight of the user (manned, as well as unmanned aircraft registered in the UTM). In addition, real-time data, such as photos or videos, can be provided as needed.
The UTM components in the post-flight phase help to assess and follow up on the flight (logbook entries, incident management, battery management, for instance).
Droniq offers its customers a one-stop shop for all services connected with drone flight. The service package is tailored to the needs of each customer. Droniq offers all products and services required for your planned UAS flight – from permission and training to the infrastructure to track your aircraft. Just contact us.
The web interface to display the air situation and the online training courses for proof of knowledge are standard. Droniq also plans to develop standard solutions out of the individual solutions over time. Just contact us.
Provision of service
At first, the experts at Droniq will check which rules are applicable for your planned UAS flight. Is permission needed or not, for example? If permission is required, we will then check if a separate risk assessment is needed (known as SORA for Specific Operations Risk Assessment) or a concept of operations (known as ConOps). If this is not necessary, we will carry out the application process with you.
If a SORA or a ConOps is required for your flight, we will support you in drawing them up depending on your prior knowledge and your requirements. If desired, we can train you so that you are qualified to carry out future applications. If needed, we can then help you select the right drone, technology and personnel. After obtaining permission from air traffic control, we can also provide assistance in mission planning and any communication with statutory authorities.
We also offer training if a qualification is required on drone use itself. As regards the flight, you will receive the infrastructure required from Droniq. This consists of the ground sensors, an LTE transponder to be mounted on your drone so that it can be tracked during the flight (known as the hook-on device) and the online access which you can use to monitor your aircraft and other manned and unmanned flight movements close by in real time (UTM beta).
The service offered by Droniq are developed by in-house staff, who are in turn supported by experts from DFS and Deutsche Telekom to answer questions on UTM development and mobile connectivity.
Droniq is the right business partner for your project or business no matter how far along you are with your planning – whether you have a fully formed plan or just a rough idea. Together with you, Droniq will create the foundation for your planned drone activities and support you in transitioning from the test phase to normal operations.
Prices will vary depending on mission (data volume required, length of the route to be flown, frequency of flights, hardware required). The pricing models are currently being drawn up. In the start-up phase, Droniq will be working with packages.
Delivery times will vary depending on the service package ordered and how far along you are with your own planning. Many of the training products are available online, are standardised and can be used immediately.
There were a host of partners and pilot customers during the Connected Drones research project. Concrete applications were tested as part of this project that demonstrated the viability of our products and services.