TruWeather and Drone Industry Systems Corp Partner for Smart Rooftop or Ground Vertiports, a Scalable UAS/AAM Infrastructure Solution
By: Dawn Zoldi
Two companies, TruWeather Solutions and Drone Industry Systems Corporation (DISC), have teamed up to provide a holistic infrastructure solution for the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) industry.
Mike DiCosola, CEO and founder of DISC, leveraging more than ten years of general contracting experience and seven years of research and development in autonomous vehicle delivery, developed a strong portfolio of UAS/AAM infrastructure intellectual property which includes an Autonomous Fleet Logistic Infrastructure and Delivery System or “Vertiport In-A-Box System” (VIB). A fully autonomous smart airport that works with aircraft ranging from small quadcopters to large electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, the system also includes a separate but integrated smart vehicle mailbox/parcel landing/takeoff pad and charging station and fully integrated cyber security support services. DiCosola designed that network to be scalable, modular, interoperable and cybersecure on an open platform with blockchain data validation, encryption and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) backbone software, supported by a node-centric edge computing mesh network.
Potential customers can select from an a la carte hardware suite of participating partners to build custom smart rooftop or ground vertiports to accommodate the footprint design of their existing structures. For example, a design for an existing five-unit strip mall center with only 10,000 sq ft of working space, explained DiCosola, could include a system with drone hangers, drone charging stations, strategically placed data sensors for real time observation, telemetry, weather, and other raw data, and multiple drones for a variety of uses. The ground footprint for such a system could consist of two smart drone landing/charging pads with automated charging stations for unmanned ground vehicles and delivery robots. On the delivery arrival side, an end user could receive a drone package on the smart mailbox landing pad. Various sensors and critical infrastructure hardware could also be integrated.
And then there’s the weather data strategy, which is where the partnership with TruWeather comes into play. TruWeather is focused on unleashing and accelerating science and technology to improve micro weather data and analytics. According to CEO Don Berchoff, “We simplify weather insights and help drone and air taxi operators make better safety and business decisions.” Berchoff spent 24 years in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and a follow-on stint as the National Weather Service Science and Technology Director improving how weather data and decision tools improve mission effectiveness. In 2001, he and his Airmen developed a framework that cut weather delays for worldwide tanker and airlift operations from 5,000 a year to 1,800 a year, saving the USAF $200M. He now brings this service to the UAS/AAM industry through TruWeather’s platform, TruFlite 360, which easily transfers data from six private-sector sensor partnerships, through available software, to end users.
DISC and TruWeather have joined forces to offer this weather data to the VIB through DISC’s Weather Data Exchange IP. They seek to expand the weather data available though additional partnerships with clients and sensor companies, using a unique incentive program. If a municipality adds sensors across the town, and desires to recover costs or generate revenue on the sensor data, DISC and TruWeather can add the data collected to the Weather Exchange they’ve created. The municipality and others would benefit by receiving this added data and the analytics to fuel a variety of missions and the DISC/TruWeather collaborative would pay the municipality back through cryptocurrency.
DiCosola elaborated, “DISC looks at all of these add-ons as ‘nodes.’ Through an onboarding process for our participating sensor partners, we will provide a network of real time AI/ML learning between node communications via edge computing and cloud.” By connecting and communicating sensor data, they will create a ‘daisy chain’ of the raw data sensor (node) telemetry and weather data, that DISC will blockchain-validate, encrypt and ledger for AI/ML use. That info will be used by TruWeather Solutions, who will take the raw data and model it to a client’s specific use case.
“Unlike most transportation systems, this system is designed to be safer by continually scaling up with additional smart nodes and smart rooftop and ground airports/vertiports as they become part of the mesh network blockchain and AI/ML system,” said DiCosola. “The more sensors, the more raw data. The more data, the more accurate and safer the national airspace system and UAS/AAM operations.”
Bechoff agrees, which is why he partnered with DISC. “Together, we will be able to provide situational awareness during preflight planning and even in direct flight, with the autonomous feature that will allow for redirecting around “no fly” weather areas such as instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), dangerous wind or wind shear conditions in urban areas, heavy precipitation, and so on, with minimum operational grounding.” Today, 40 percent of flights cancelled due to weather or a forecast, could fly. TruWeather’s goal is to reduce that number to 15% or less. This partnership will enable that. The end result is maximum situational awareness for advanced operations such as beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), including in urban areas, by reducing weather uncertainty.
End-users who wish to use the Smart Rooftop and Ground Vertiports will be able to choose between DISC’s recommended onboarded partners. They can also bring in third-party drones, landing pads, droneports, charging stations, sensor companies, and other necessary manufacturers into the mix. Berchoff encourages potential partners to reach out to him and DiCosola. “DISC developed a truly dynamic autonomous infrastructure solution that accommodates and does not alienate competing and non-competing stakeholder sensor data and drone hardware manufacturers, while raising the bar for BLVOS situational awareness, NAS safety, and aviation cyber security solutions,” he said. “It’s a privilege to be a part of it.”
DISC conservatively anticipates full product launch by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2022. Companies e interested in being a part of this autonomous infrastructure solution can visit the DISC website at and TruWeather website at; .
Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, USAF, Retired) is a licensed attorney with 28 years of combined active duty military and federal civil service to the Department of the Air Force. She is an intIernationally recognized expert on unmanned aircraft system law and policy, a columnist for several magazines,recipient of the Woman to Watch in UAS (Leadership) Award 2019, President and CEO of UAS Colorado and the CEO of P3 Tech Consulting LLC. For more information, visit her website at: https://www.p3techconsulting.com.
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.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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