The award-winning State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, is the first in the NBA to use drones for disinfection, as the arena prepares to host the annual NBA All-Star Festivities and start the second half of the 2020-21 season.
State Farm Arena has brought on Lucid Drone Technologies to use their D1 Disinfecting Drone (D1) to help in sanitizing the 17,500 seat venue between events.
“The approximately 27-pound drone holds a 10-liter tank of cleaning solution and is equipped with multiple sets of batteries and a custom charger to allow for continuous cleaning cycles,” says a Lucid press release. ” At full charge, the D1 can cover 150,000 square feet in an hour, making the total time to disinfect State Farm Arena one-and-a-half hours.”
The D1 is programmed using an indoor flight mode rather than GPS-based navigation as most drone systems are: and is built specifically to dispense disinfectant products.
“With the health and safety of everyone that enters State Farm Arena as our primary concern, we are continually looking for new ways to improve processes and achieve the highest standard of operational efficiency possible,” Geoffrey Stiles, Senior Vice President, Facilities and Events for the Hawks and State Farm Arena. “The use of Lucid’s technology has allowed some of our staff to develop a new skillset, while others have been redeployed to new tasks in the arena for better use of our manpower.”
Using Lucid’s D1 drones for disinfection requires a two-person team of one pilot and one safety spotter. “The pilot is responsible for flying the drone and dispensing the disinfectant solution, while the safety spotter is connected to the pilot via headset, allowing the spotter to constantly relay important flight information regarding safety, efficiency, and effectiveness,” says the release. “As part of the D1 implementation, several of the arena’s current staff are becoming certified drone pilots.”
The COVID pandemic has caused major problems for arenas and professional sports and entertainment industries. State Farm Arena is currently only able to operate at 8% capacity for Hawks home games. The invitation only, one day All-Star game festivities will take place on March 7, 2021.
“The pandemic has created many difficulties for large venues, like professional sports stadiums, as there are a limited number of hours between events. With our drones, our customers have been able to disinfect up to 14x faster than traditional methods,” Andrew Ashur, CEO/Co-founder Lucid Drone Tech.
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 penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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