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MOT, CAAS seeking proposals to develop solutions for unmanned aircraft systems

A CALL for proposal to develop systems and technologies to enable innovative, wide-ranging use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) was issued on Friday, in a joint statement by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

These solutions have to be suited for Singapore's densely populated urban environment, without compromising safety. In particular, proposals for the development of various capabilities and technologies such as navigation capabilities, sense-and-avoid technologies, as well as fleet management and UAS Traffic Management solutions are welcome.

These capabilities and technologies can enable beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations, which can be more cost-effective as they help enhance productivity of current processes.

For instance, BVLOS operations could enable unmanned aircraft to fly a large area without requiring the UAS operator to keep a physical watch. This could benefit search and rescue efforts, building and structural inspections, land traffic monitoring and transportation of goods, said the statement.

The MOT and the CAAS will co-fund the development and trials of up to S$1.5 million per proposal, or up to 50 per cent of the total qualified project costs, for each successful proposal. Applicants will be required to develop working prototypes and are encouraged to identify and partner an end-user so as to take into consideration its commercial viability.

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"UAS operations in urban environments like ours pose operational challenges with higher risks to people and property. Yet, the technology's potential to transform the way we work and live is undeniable. This call-for-proposal is a good opportunity for us to work closely with industry players to explore the possibilities and test-bed the solutions robustly," said Kevin Shum, CAAS director-general.

The closing date for submission is Jan 5, 2018.

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