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Advanced Next GEneration Landing System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ANGELS (Advanced Next GEneration Landing System)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-05-31

PALU is a young Italian technological Start-Up born specifically to develop this project, so ANGELS explains our mission, which is providing precise and cost-effective instrumental guidance solutions for Approach and Landing operations to helidecks in offshore platforms. Our vision is a bit more ambitious, though, as we want to become the de-facto standard instrumental solution to be installed by default in every helideck, helipad and small airport worldwide.

ANGELS is a high precision instrumental guidance system at the price of an optical guidance system, which makes use of standards and context aware customizable predictive software to increase the level of safety in Approach & Landing (A&L) operations. ANGELS focuses in Helicopters A&L operations to helidecks at offshore platforms, where poor visibility (optical guidance systems don’t help), complex glide paths (non straight line approaches), high density of obstacles and reduced space are common, and where decision makers (e.g. helidecks constructors, helicopter service companies) are sensitive to price and need cost-effective instrumental solutions.

In order to confirm the feasibility of our project, we, PALU, have carried out a 5-month study focusing our efforts on 3 main areas: (1) technically, our team has further evaluated and selected components for the ANGELS ecosystem and prepared a complete Execution Plan for the development and engineering of our solution, where we also have recruited the right partner to manufacture our systems; (2) commercially, we have consolidated our knowledge of the markets and competition to develop a strong marketing strategy, and have consolidated synergetic relations with valuable stakeholders, and developed an initial network of distributors and representatives; (3) financially, we have drafted detailed financial forecasts, on a 3-year-projection, and confirm the potential return on investment.
During our 5-month Feasibility Study, and based on the original Work Plan proposed in the Phase 1 proposal, several activities have been carried out.

Firstly, technically, further calculations, tests and component selection for the application were carried out. Following these developments, a preliminary risk analysis has been conducted to ensure that no issues have been left aside and thus that future development will be with a low and controlled risk. Our team has prepared a complete Execution Plan for the development and exploitation of the full ANGELS ecosystem; we also have confirmed our intention to enter a partnership with a qualified company (in addition to MR&D, we have also considered BLU-ELECTRONICS and SELT-SISTEMI) that will take care of HW manufacturing and have identified the required third parties subcontractors to support us in the execution of the Phase 2 project.

Commercially, we have consolidated synergies with representatives of the primary target markets, as is the case of Windpark Heliflight (German helicopter services company), and SSM-STAHL (German helideck constructor) which has allowed us to further prepare our marketing and pricing strategy. Furthermore, a complete Freedom-to-Operate was performed to search for existing IP rights that could infringe with our technology. This analysis has confirmed the novelty of our solution based on current patent from TEIA, with whom we have signed an exclusivity exploitation agreement.

Financially, we have consolidated the financial projections for the first 3 years of business with highly positive turnover increase, leading to our decision to present a Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 in June 2015.
We hope to introduce the new products into the market in 2017-Q1, as this is just the right time to reach the market, because:
(1) EU SESAR program promotes the use of ADS-B technology intensively and this technology is spreading out, imposing to every heavy (>5700Kg) new aircraft in the sky by 2017 to integrate ADS-B technology onboard, and these are the helicopters typically used in offshore platforms.
(2) Although ADS-B and VHF/VOR are mature technologies, no one else is using them to build a modest but reliable ILS-like system with GBAS-like precision augmentation, as most competitors are just focusing in more immediate problems as (a) building expensive radar-based solutions for big international airports or (b) focusing on standard equipment for aircrafts onboard equipment, leaving our primary markets unattended.
(3) Appart from making business of this necessity we intend to substantially increase safety in A&L operations to offshore platforms by providing a cost-effective instrumental solution to those budget-sensitive customers that until now could only afford optical guidance solutions.