Swiss-based drone manufacturer senseFly, a Parrot company, has introduced a new version of it’s flight and data management software, eMotion. That may not sound quite as exciting as it is: because senseFly’s new version includes features moving the drone industry closer to full integration into the airspace.
If you don’t use a senseFly drone like the eBee, you may have seen one. senseFly makes ultra lightweight, fixed wing commercial mapping drones that look like they’re made of Styrofoam. Appearances can be deceiving – these drones have been around for a while, and with the safety provided by their lightweight form they offer very sophisticated professional features.
eMotion is senseFly’s ground station software. And with this new release, it is stepping up for the commercial drone industry.
“eMotion is the most highly-regarded and powerful software of its kind in the professional drone space,” said Alexis Roze, senseFly’s eMotion Product Owner. “These exciting additions further distance eMotion from the pack, bringing many more commercial UAV operators across the world the exact functionality they need to collect accurate geospatial data as easily and efficiently as possible.”
In addition to adding new language support (Chinese and Spanish – a good move on senseFly’s part, given industry growth in Asia and Latin America,) the software now provides Agisoft PhotoScan integration with one click and a “mission resume” feature, which allows the drone to pick up exactly where it left off after a battery change or other interruption. But perhaps the most exciting addition is that of live air traffic data – support that could allow operators to manage flights in congested airspace or better evaluate BVLOS operations.
“eMotion 3.5 now supports uAvionix’s PingUSB ADS-B*/UAT receiver, allowing senseFly operators to view live air traffic data during their missions: simply launch eMotion 3.5, connect your uAvionix PingUSB (available for purchase from senseFly) to your ground station PC, and click eMotion’s Air Traffic,” says the release. “This live data feed both helps improve airspace awareness and could potentially boost the number of mission types possible…”
* ADS-B data transmission is mandatory for airliners and standard-sized aircraft, plus many small aircraft also being equipped with this technology. For example, in the US, the FAA will require ADS-B to be installed in any aircraft wishing to fly in controlled airspaces (such as airports).
With every drone platform that adds live air traffic data, the reality of UTM and drone integration gets closer. It’s a complex problem and not one that can be solved by a single product – but senseFly and the drone industry are moving fast in the right direction.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.