Read or listen to all of the headlines in one place: excerpts from the DRONELIFE drone news of the week November 18. Click on the titles below for the full story.
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Volatus Aerospace announced that it has finalized its acquisitions of Synergy Aviation of Edmonton Alberta, which was first announced on October 13, 2022, and of iRed Remote Sensing of Emsworth, England, first announced on October 28, 2022. Through its acquisition of Synergy Aviation, Volatus has achieved a position of influence within the sector of Oil and Gas infrastructure monitoring, possessing the ability to institute green drone technologies that will grant a competitive advantage for growth within the industry. Furthermore, the company’s acquisition of iRed will bolster its offerings within the infrared inspection field, as well as further extending the range of Volatus’s influence within the UK and Europe.
Fruity Chutes, the leading parachute recovery systems provider for UAS, announced its partnership with Matternet in earning an FAA Type Certification. Fruity Chutes provided Matternet with its drone-optimized Iris Ultralight parachute, alongside crucial safety components such as shock cords and harnesses. The successful acquisition of the Certification establishes Fruity Chutes as being the first ever UAS recovery company to have a drone parachute complete the FAA’s four-year evaluation process.
They say communication is key. This adage applies not only to life in general, but also to integrating uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) into the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). Over a decade ago, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) identified the need for UAS-specific aviation communications capabilities, and related policies, to enable routine commercial beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight in controlled airspace. Achieving this, they said, would require both allocated frequency spectrum for civil UAS Control and Non-Payload Communication (CNPC) links (those between the UAS and the pilot on the ground) and related minimum performance standards. These would, in turn, drive relevant UAS communication policies and guidance.
Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC) has been chosen by AFWERX for an SBIR Phase II contract to further develop the HAMR: AAC’s Hybrid Advanced Multi-Rotor Uncrewed Aerial System. HAMR’s multi-rotor configuration and distributed electric propulsion system give the aircraft outstanding flight endurance. In addition, HAMR can accommodate multiple, simultaneous payloads. “The aircraft can be optimized for a wide range of defense applications and mission profiles, including tactical ISR, perimeter security, search and rescue, and medical supply delivery missions,” says the company announcement.
Infrastructure will build out the future of the UAS and AAM industry. Where are we in the U.S. and globally on heliport, vertiport and drone port law, regulation, policy and design? What is going well? What does the global community need to do better? We’ll be discussing gaps and seams and everything in between in what will surely be an informative episode for all. Join us and engage with Rex, the world leader on these topics and more!
Enterprise drone autonomy platform provider FlytBase has announced a partnership with safety avionics technology leader Iris Automation that will see the integration of FlytBase’s FlytNow with Iris Automation’s Casia G ground-based detect and alert system, allowing for safe BVLOS flights. The Casia G ground-based surveillance system continuously monitors airspace to guarantee the safety of UAS operations from intruder aircraft. Using Iris’ AI and computer vision technology, its sensors grant a full optical, 360° field of view for locating any aircraft within a 2 km radius. As a ground-based solution, Casia G does not require weighing down the drone with additional payload. By using additional units, the solution’s monitoring range can be extended to form a network of detection nodes and a Mesh.
Drone Industry Insights (DRONEII) has named this year’s top drone service providers. Winners were divided into two categories. “…to rank the best drone service companies in the world, we used the size, growth and public attention as reference to determine companies’ performance,” writes DRONEII’s Estaban Zanelli. “The ranking is split into the 5 best remote sensing companies and the 5 best companies for drone delivery.” The U.S took the top spots in delivery, with medical drone delivery company Ziplinelanding the number 1 spot for drone delivery. Malaysia’s Aerodyne Group placing first for remote sensing.
Groupe ADP, Skyports and Volocopter have together commissioned Europe’s premier fully integrated vertiport terminal for the urban air mobility (UAM) industry at the Groupe ADP, RATP Group and Choose Paris Region-run Re.Invent Air Mobility testbed at Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield. The newly launched testbed allows a range of various stakeholders to test technologies and procedures in diverse configurations within a real-life environment. The ability to test on a live airfield makes the testbed an invaluable developmental asset to the entire UAM industry.
Public safety and critical infrastructure UAS consulting group Skyfire Consultingannounced that it has successfully assisted Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in acquiring a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) waiver under a Part 107 for the entire state of California. PG&E will utilize the BVLOS waiver to fly large sections of their critical infrastructure in high fire-threat districts throughout California. With the addition of its work with PG&E, Skyfire currently contributes to all stages of environmental response, including prevention, wildfire response, and environmental cleanup and reforestation with DroneSeed.
Unified Traffic Management (UTM) technology provider Altitude Angel has announced that Mopiens, Inc. and Synerex, Inc. have joined its Global Partnership Programme. As a supplier to more than 200 airports worldwide and with a major presence throughout South Korea, Mopiens will facilitate the growth and adoption of Altitude Angel’s award-winning and industry-leading UTM platform to South Korean organizations and businesses, alongside Synerex’s complete RTK-GPS solutions.
Airspace management solutions provider ANRA Technologies has announced the award of a contract to demonstrate the ability to gather Broadcast Remote ID (B-RID) messages and convert and retransmit them as Network Remote ID (N-RID) messages capable of being shared within the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Service Supplier (USS) Network. With funding by the FAA, the project will evaluate advanced air traffic management functions for UAS for safe operations adhering to the FAA Remote Identification Final Rule requiring remote identification of uncrewed aircraft in the United States airspace.
The drone industry is ready to scale. Drones are increasingly visible on worksites that range from construction to telecomm, and in residential areas for applications like delivery or power line maintenance. While unmanned systems offer tremendous benefit for businesses and communities, drone teams still draw scrutiny from bystanders and stakeholders. Drone operators and their crew are frequently asked to explain their presence, name their employer, or present authorization. Many teams designate one crewmember for dealing with questions; others use cones, vests, or barriers to indicate that a drone mission is a legitimate commercial operation. Drone service providers and enterprise drone teams need a way to identify their operators, visual observers, and maintenance crew with a secure and widely recognized ID – one that can ease access to worksites and allow management of the ID at a company level. That’s the space that CrewID™ is ready to fill.
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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