UAS firm Vigilant Aerospace is helping Oklahoma State University’s medical drone delivery program achieve a new standard in safety for BVLOS flights.
During a recent demonstration, the company’s FlightHorizon system provided air-traffic monitoring for OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute. The project will deliver medical supplies and testing kits for pandemic relief and other disaster response efforts using drones to speed up delivery and reduce risk.
“Our goal with this flight was to demonstrate the key elements of a safe beyond visual line-of-sight medical supply delivery drone system that is affordable, highly portable, complies with industry standards and is waiver-ready,” Vigilant CEO Kraettli L. Epperson said.
“To reach that goal, OSU has combined an efficient VTOL aircraft customized with a temperature-controlled payload and we provided our portable detect-and-avoid system with on board telemetry, transponder tracking and radar,” he added.
The aim of the flight was to demonstrate the ability to track the emergency delivery aircraft and all surrounding air traffic to maintain situational awareness and predict potential conflicts. FlightHorizon tracked air traffic and the drone throughout the flight in real time.
The Nimbus VTOL V2 drone carries a medical supply payload delivery container and can deliver items like virus testing kits, biological samples, blood and other items requiring temperature control.
Last year, Vigilant teamed up with OSU to launch one of the first BVLOS drone flights across a 13-mile long corridor in central Oklahoma after obtaining a special FAA Certificate of Authorization (COA).
Earlier this year, the company obtained a special license from the U.S. State Department to allow streamlined export of its FlightHorizon GCS UAS system. By obtaining a “special determination (known as a Commodity Jurisdiction),” Vigilant can send out the system without being classified as a “defense article” under International Traffic in Arms Regulations , thus not requiring a special license.
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