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Inmarsat launches new Velaris connectivity solution

Velaris will allow a single pilot to remotely operate multiple UAVs at scale, making operations more commercially viable.
Drone quadrocopter with high-resolution digital camera flying in the blue sky over the mountain.

Inmarsat has launched a UAV connectivity solution called Velaris. It will enable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and integrate with aircraft in commercial airspace. 

Backed by military-grade cybersecurity, it allows operators to send their UAVs on long-distance flights and access various applications, such as real-time monitoring, to ensure safe integration with other air traffic. In addition, Velaris allows a single pilot to remotely operate multiple UAVs at scale, making operations more commercially viable. 

Over the next seven years, the commercial UAV market is projected to increase from $2.32bn in 2021 to $11.29bn in 2028, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.39% during this period. To support this fast-paced growth, Velaris will unlock new digital automation capabilities within the UAV industry, leading to significant advances in safety, productivity, customer service, location access and accuracy, while also reducing the overall cost of operations. Importantly, it will also support the transport of people and goods in an environmentally friendly manner. 

Anthony Spouncer, Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs and Unmanned Traffic Management, said: “Commercial UAVs have the potential to revolutionise a vast array of different industries throughout the world. However, to truly unlock their potential on a commercial scale, it is imperative that autonomous vehicles and unmanned aviation are safely and securely integrated into managed commercial airspace. That’s exactly what Velaris, as Inmarsat’s first global UAV connectivity solution, will deliver. Inmarsat’s unparalleled experience in air traffic management and aviation safety, combined with our established track record in civil and military UAV communications, ensures that we can support global regulators, air navigation service providers and UAV operators with seamless airspace integration. In addition, thanks to our ambitious and fully-funded technology roadmap, including our brand new ORCHESTRA communications network of the future, Velaris will continue to develop and evolve alongside the UAV industry, remaining its gold standard connectivity solution for decades to come.” 

The company participates in several projects that aim to revolutionise the future of flight, including the UK Government funded Project HEART (Hydrogen Electric and Automated Regional Transportation) – which is developing the country’s first automated, zero-carbon regional air transportation network – and Airspace of the Future (AoF) – which focuses on integrating UAV services with the wider UK transport ecosystem.  

Spouncer added: “We work with our global partner ecosystem to develop UAV terminals that deliver smaller, more cost-effective multi datalink solutions. These are optimised for a wide range of use cases so that our customers can always have the highest possible standard of connectivity. I’m pleased to launch Velaris today. Coming soon after the launch of Inmarsat ORCHESTRA and ELERA, this truly emphasises Inmarsat’s long-term commitment to the commercial UAV market.”