Censys Technologies Achieves 30-Mile BVLOS Flight Milestone with Sentaero 5
Censys Technologies conducted a 30-mile beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operation on November 17th, successfully flying the Sentaero 5 over a cellular network in South Florida adjacent to Lake Okeechobee. This milestone was achieved by leveraging a performance-based, non-geo constrained shielded operations waiver, marking a significant step forward for the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry.
Shielded operations offer the opportunity for significant expansion of BVLOS commercial drone operation. The BVLOS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) Recommendations explains that shielded airspace extends 100 feet above the vertical extent of an obstacle or critical infrastructure and within 100 feet laterally of the same obstacle or critical infrastructure.
The concept of a Shielded Area is designed to optimize the utilization of existing airspace near structures and obstacles, with uncrewed aircraft conducting BVLOS Shielded Operations being granted right of way over all other aircraft. The intention is to maximize the efficiency of the airspace “bubble” around structures, which manned aircraft already tend to avoid: and allows operators to leverage the benefits of BVLOS operations in those areas, enhancing safety without incurring additional costs or requiring new technology.
The Censys mission served as a proof of concept (POC), simulating data collection for algae blooms—a crucial aspect of South Florida’s ecosystem. This use case highlights the potential of BVLOS for long linear data collection and inspections, showcasing the versatility and practical applications of this technology.
Trevor Perro, Co-Founder and CEO of Censys Technologies, said: “It is our goal to make commercial BVLOS common in the US, and last week is a major win for Censys Technologies, Sentaero 5, FAA regulators, and the UAS industry. This is one of many steps of progress we will make.”
The Sentaero 5, Censys Technologies’ recently released American-manufactured Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) fixed-wing, played a pivotal role in enabling BVLOS capabilities. Equipped with an upgraded user interface, cellular command and control link, standard remote ID, and a robust safety case, the Sentaero 5 empowers operators to extend their reach farther than ever before. Companies and organizations can now extract the true value of BVLOS operations, opening up new possibilities for data collection and inspections. The company hopes other clients will be able to leverage the work done for this waiver to achieve their own – and scale BVLOS operations further.
“This is a beautiful concert of technology and regulation coming together, advancing the UAS industry in the U.S.,” remarked Rob Knochenhauer, Director of Regulatory Affairs. “We continuously push for more advanced approvals with every waiver we submit.”
Censys Technologies’ has an impressive track record of achieving BVLOS waivers for their clients. The successful 30-mile BVLOS operation with the Sentaero 5 underscores that the technical approach Censys Technologies has taken for BVLOS operations has proven itself to clients and regulators.
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- Censys Funding: Over $8 Million in Series A for BVLOS Fixed Wing Drone
- The Longest Distance BVLOS Waiver Yet: Censys and Soaring Eagle Technologies
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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