INVOLI and its collision avoidance system awarded with the Lausanne PERL prize

picture @Agefi Switzerland

While Switzerland has been most well-known for banks, chocolate and watches, in the last decade it has become largely known for as being the Home of Drones. Particularly, Lausanne Region plays an important part in this, being home to numerous companies in the drone ecosystem, notably senseFly, Flyability, Pix4D and, recently, Involi, all set up by alumni of EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), one of the best polytechnics’ universities in the world.

Every year, Lausanne Region awards the PERL Prize (Prix Entreprendre Région Lausanne) to the most innovative and dynamic company, with a promising perspective of development. Acknowledging the importance of drones in the years to come, and their safe integration into the air traffic, it was Involi to win the big prize this year, having been selected amongst a handful of high-tech companies from a variety of domains, from energy to nanosatellite communications.

Involi is in the business of air traffic data, particularly at low altitude, meant to offer air traffic awareness to drones. The technology detects aircraft in real-time, especially the ones flying low and at risk of hitting drones (including helicopters, aircraft, gliders, etc.). Such data is gathered through a network of in-house developed detection devices, deployed as a dense network covering a designated area. Nothing is added onto the drone as to not diminish its autonomy, the system is decentralized on the ground over existing infrastructure, such as cell towers or rooftops.

As of this March, Involi is also part of the Swiss U-Space, the country wide initiative for safely integrating drones into the air traffic, managed by skyguide, the national ANSP, and FOCA, the Swiss Federal Aviation Authority.

There is a lot happening in the drone eco-system in Switzerland and Lausanne Region picked up on this and recognized Involi at the top of innovation in the highly competitive environment of the area. “Lausanne Region is already ahead of most in terms on comprehension of the drones and the impact they will have on every aspect of our lives in the next years, this also due to the important drone hub in the area.

The recognition for Involi through this prize is once more a reinforcement of this forward-thinking position which could be an example for the rest of the world.” declared Manu Lubrano, CEO of Involi.

Mélanie Guittet, Business Development adds: “Our system can be installed everywhere, and we plan to replicate the Swiss iteration in all other countries. This prize boosts our internationalization strategy as we take it as an indication that our community is ready to welcome drones.”

Involi

ARPAS response to the CAA Drone Registration Consultation

On 26th April, we sent members a link to the CAA consultation on how drone registration is being proposed to be implemented later this year. With this announcement came the news that there will be a fee of £16.50

per annum, for operators to cover development and running costs of the system, training and testing of pilots, education and PR campaign, and future development costs for the systems continued improvement.

More details regarding the consultation, and how to submit a response can be found here:

https://consultations.caa.co.uk/finance/drone-registration/

Over the past few days, we have listened to our member’s feedback, and although it is generally accepted that registration is a necessary step to progress the development and trust in our industry, there have been a number of questions which have been raised:

  1. Whilst we understand that the set up costs have been funded by the DfT, the annual running cost is

    very high indeed. We feel that the procurement process should be reviewed.
  2. Will the development and education costs not reduce over time, and if so, how will this be reflected

    in the fee that operators will pay?
  3. How will the fee affect the number of young people who are entering into the drone industry, and

    what can be done to ensure they are not discouraged?
  4. How are the CAA proposing to streamline this registration system with the PfCO application process?

We understand that the CAA has received a high number of responses so far, and we are pleased that so many people are having their say on these proposals. We are also aware that other affected trade associations have voiced their concerns with the proposal and we will work with them to try and reach a fair outcome for all. We encourage members who are affected by this proposal to submit their personal responses to ensure that their voices are heard and to contact us if there are any points you would like us to raise in our response, or in our ongoing discussions with the regulators.

Once all the facts and positions are understood, ARPAS shall submit a response on behalf of our members and will keep you informed with any progress that is made. We continue to believe that a fair and productive outcome can be gained through this process and will ensure that your voices are represented at the highest levels.

We thank you again for your support.

Your ARPAS-UK Committee

Sky Power GmbH’s 2-Cylinder SP-275 TS CR

The 2-cylinder engine SP-275 TS CR presented by Sky Power GmbH has been developed for affordable and high-performing applications, like drone training purposes. The carburetor of the SP-275 TS CR is located at the rear of the engine and is ideal for high speed applications among other things due to its flat design.

“Some of our customers were asking about a simple, high-performing engine. Based on the application, the budget and the operating environment they like to forego technical complex versions, like fuel injection. Based on our customers demand we decided to develop such an engine,” states Karl Schudt. The SP-275 TS CR is depending on propeller and aircraft able to pick up high speed. Based on the engines design and performance Sky Power predicts a great variety of possible applications for UAS. “The engine is an option for all applications that need a high-performing, simple to operate and easy to maintain engine,” says Schudt.

Almost all of Sky Powers engines are equipped with two spark plugs per cylinder. This holds many benefits for the customer: the engine runs at a lower idle and the engines performance across the entire operational range is more balanced. Furthermore, in case one of the two spark plug fails the second ignition working independently ensures that the engine continues to run.

senseFly introduces Solar 360

senseFly, leading provider of fixed-wing drone solutions, introduced its new senseFly Solar 360 at this year’s AUVSI XPONENTIAL, the latest addition to its senseFly 360 solutions range. Created in collaboration with software company Raptor Maps, this new offering is a uniquely efficient thermal drone solution that enables the automatic assessment of solar plant performance at a sub-module level.

Created by combining eBee X fixed-wing drone technology, senseFly’s Duet T thermal mapping camera, and Raptor Maps’ ground-breaking software, senseFly Solar 360 is a fast and fully-automated solution. It is easily integrated into solar management workflows without requiring either drone piloting skills or the manual analysis of aerial solar farm data.

Penn State offers a new Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development. Students will learn to script the automation of spatial analysis processes, develop custom user interfaces on top of existing desktop applications, and create web-based interactive mapping applications that support spatial data science. Classes are taught 100% online, which allows students the opportunity to earn a respected credential on a part-time basis while they continue to work.

“At senseFly we are continually looking across the industry to identify new commercial partners with whom we can bring to market what our customers need, which is vertically-focused end-to-end solutions,” said Gilles Labossière, CEO of senseFly. “With Raptor Maps, we are collaborating with a true solar industry pioneer. Their software takes the guesswork out of solar farm inspection and, crucially, speeds up this process – from days down to hours. This efficiency, combined with the eBee X’s large coverage and reliability, ensures that farm owners and operators — or the drone service providers they employ — can inspect utility-scale solar farms more quickly, easily, and accurately than ever before.”

“Solar power is the largest source of new energy generation in the world,” said Nikhil Vadhavkar, CEO of Raptor Maps. “This rapid growth has fueled demand for industry-specific solutions to allow solar customers to scale. Our enterprise-grade software has been deployed across six continents and 25 million solar panels to increase power production and reduce risk and maintenance cost across solar portfolios. We are proud to collaborate with senseFly, the industry leaders in commercial fixed-wing drones, to increase access to Raptor Maps while providing a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that scales with the solar industry.”

QUICK

Efficient solar farm inspection

  • Users can inspect solar farm installations of up to 150 MW in a single day*, enhancing operational efficiency by up to 300 times versus ground inspection using a handheld thermographic sensor (500 kw per day)
  • * Based on five 70-min eBee X flights at 42 m (138 ft) AGL.
  • The senseFly eBee X drone can fly for up to 70 minutes when carrying the senseFly Duet T thermal/RGB mapping camera. This allows 65 ha (161 ac) of sub-module level anomalies to be documented in a single 42 m (138 ft) flight — double the inspection coverage of multi-rotor systems
  • With Raptor Maps’ first-of-its-kind software’s minimal image requirements, users can conduct drone inspections at least five times faster than competing software

EASY

Receive the most accurate reports in the industry, automatically

  • The eBee X drone makes collecting thermographic data of solar farms easier than ever before. It captures radiometric thermal and visual RGB imagery without the need for a trained pilot
  • The Raptor Maps software then generates a detailed and actionable inspection report, using the eBee X’s RGB and thermal imagery to identify, classify, and localise anomalies automatically
  • The eBee X thermal drone is an inherently safe, end-to-end integrated solution, thanks to its low kinetic energy, lightweight nature and range of configurable, aviation-inspired fail safes

PROFITABLE

Breakeven in just one flight

  • Raptor Maps users report USD $2,000/MW of previously-undetected production impact and the ability to directly replace manual electrical testing. In the case of a 16 MW site this equates to breaking even on your senseFly Solar 360 investment after just one flight
  • senseFly Solar 360 minimises staff time on-site and thus associated labour costs. It achieves this via the eBee X’s extensive single-flight coverage, which reduces the number of battery changes required, while Raptor Maps software helps to drive significant cost savings by requiring 80 per cent fewer images for its analysis than competing software
  • The eBee X’s RGB camera data helps to deliver further cost benefits by generating a geo-accurate digital terrain model, which can be used to optimise a farm’s design
  • This drone inspection solution also facilitates more frequent PV solar farm inspections, allowing problems at the string, module and cell level to be detected before they impact yield or cause a wider technical issue

senseFly Solar 360 is supplied with the customer’s choice of Data Pack. These Data Packs are available in 50 MW, 100 MW and 200 MW variants, depending on the output capacity a customer expects to assess over the course of a year.

Measure and AiRXOS Partner to Provide Advanced Drone Operations for the Energy Industry

New solution combines waiver approval services with drone operations and data analysis to expand aerial inspections beyond the visual line of sight.

Measure UAS, Inc., the leader in aerial intelligence, and AiRXOS, part of GE Aviation, today announced a partnership to provide a holistic inspection solution that overcomes the regulatory and performance complexities of advanced drone operations such as beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and multiple unmanned aircraft operations (Multi-UA).

The new offering connects Measure’s drone operations and data analysis services with AIRXOS’ Air Mobility Approval Services, a lifecycle consulting service that helps organizations conquer the complexity of UAV waivers. Advanced operations like BVLOS and Multi-UA are well-suited to inspection operations in the energy industry, as they further advance the ability of

drones to improve worker safety, increase inspection efficiency, and maximize asset availability.

“The intent of Measure and AiRXOS joining forces is to solve a customer problem we hear repeatedly – that advanced operations like BVLOS and Multi-UA operations are critical enablers for scaling inspection operations,” said Ken Stewart, AiRXOS, CEO. “We’re excited to welcome Measure as an Air MobilityTM Ecosystem partner. Combined, we are an industry powerhouse solution – two best-of-breed solutions that will help energy organizations truly realize the full potential from their aerial inspections.”

Measure has conducted thousands of commercial operations while maintaining an industry-leading safety record with zero reportable incidents. Measure’s missions have include inspection of a 328MW thin-film solar farm along the Mexican border, construction site inspections inside the tightly controlled Washington D.C. Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), and

FAA-approved flight operations during the 2019 Superbowl Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR).

“The partnership with AiRXOS extends Measure’s long history of being at the cutting edge of commercial drone operations,” said Brandon Torres Declet, CEO and Co-Founder of Measure.

“By combining Measure’s proven expertise in drone operations and data analysis with AiRXOS’ exemplary track record in advanced waiver approvals, we will be able to provide safe, compliant, and effective solutions that maximize the benefits of deploying drones across energy

operations.”

Companies interested in advanced drone operations should contact Measure through their website, http://www/measure.com/contact, or at 202.793.3052.

About Measure

Measure is an aerial intelligence company that enables enterprises to realize the transformative benefits of drone technology. Through our comprehensive software solution, specialized data engineering team, and highly skilled flight operations, we help corporations deploy drones at

scale, saving thousands of hazardous manhours and providing millions of dollars in operational benefits. Learn more at www.measure.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

About AiRXOS

AiRXOS is making a new way of moving possible. From people, to cargo, to delivery, inspections, and public safety – we’re taking on the global challenge of the digital drone economy and changing the future of transportation. AiRXOS, part of GE Aviation, is digitizing

today’s airspace, infusing next-generation air traffic management technology and services with world-class aviation expertise and execution, AiRXOS is shaping a new era of transportation through global, commercial Unmanned Aircraft (UA) solutions.

The Large Model Association responds to proposed CAA fees

Following the recent publication of CAP1775 which launched a consultation on the CAA’s proposed arrangements for registration fees for operators of unmanned aircraft, the UK model flying associations (BMFA, LMA, SAA & FPVUK) held a meeting last night with advisers.

The text in CAP1775 is far more serious than the issue of registration fees alone. The consultation reveals that key policy decisions (such as age limits, not allowing us to register members on their behalf and repetitive competency requirements) appear to have been imposed on us in the absence of either consultation or the further discussions the DfT/CAA publicly promised earlier this year.

The policies outlined are inconsistent with the EASA Regulations for model flying associations, because they mandate requirements which should instead be subject to negotiation and agreement with us prior to incorporation into our operational authorisation. As the scope of the consultation is limited to the fee arrangements, it does not invite comment on these wider policy issues.

As the CAA/DfT have evaded engagement with us on policy development since the end of 2018 and have now seemingly closed the door on us with CAP1775, we believe that it is now time for members to hold them directly to account.

The document available here summarises the views of the UK Associations, explains what we hoped to achieve and outlines where we believe the CAA/DfT have failed our members, who are the largest single stakeholder group affected by CAP1775 and details what you can do to help.

Please feel free to use this document as part of a response or print and pass to members who have not received this email.

Unfortunately, the issue of the Journal that you have just received went to print before this happened, which is unfortunate timing!

This call to action is just one element of a wider co-ordinated campaign. There is still a long way to go with this and please be assured it is by no means the end of the story.

We need a big response on this and we would urge every member to help us.

Any questions, as ever, please let me know.

Best Regards

Rob Buckley Secretary – Large Model Association

[email protected]

Raytheon system helps pilots fly drones beyond line of sight

Eliminates the need for chase planes and ground observers in new FAA-approved Ohio drone test site.

Raytheon’s (NYSE: RTN) Ground-Based Detect and Avoid (GBDAA) system is now operational at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport and will be used to test the safety and efficiency of small drone operations in the 200 square mile drone test range.

“GBDAA allows drone pilots to make safe decisions about flight maneuvers beyond visual line of sight without using ground observers or chase planes,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. “The data gathered at this test site will go a long way toward ensuring the safe integration of drones throughout the national airspace system.”

Contracted by the U.S. Air Force through the Department of Transportation’s VOLPE center, GBDAA is a key component of SkyVision, the only mobile beyond visual line-of-sight system certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to provide drone operators with real-time aircraft display data, satisfying a key ‘see and avoid’ requirement.

SkyVision operators inside the mobile unit will give drone pilots situational awareness and proximity alerts by syncing their display with the drone pilot’s display, allowing for safe passage through the airspace by showing airborne tracks from multiple sensors.

GBDAA is based on Raytheon’s Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS, which is used by air traffic controllers at more than 400 FAA and military locations to provide safe aircraft spacing and sequencing guidance for departing and arriving aircraft.

GBDAA comes in numerous configurations to meet varying mission needs; the U.S. military uses a fixed version to manage larger unmanned systems like the Predator, Reaper, and Global Hawk.

To learn more about Raytheon’s air traffic management solutions, visit us here.

Cobham Announces Successful AVIATOR UAV 500 Proof of Concept

Cape Town, South Africa: Cobham Aerospace Communications announces the successful completion of a proof of concept satcom system, dubbed AVIATOR UAV 500. Part of the Cobham AVIATOR range, the product concept is based on the current UAV 200 system and will deliver imagery at a rate of up to 500 kilobits per second (kbps).

The proof of concept has been devised and carried out in response to market demand for a UAV solution that can transmit improved video imagery via satellite network at a higher bandwidth than currently available. Users of smaller MALE and larger STUAVs still require weight to be kept to a minimum, but want to stream better quality video, while maintaining capacity for beyond-line-of-sight control.

The AVIATOR UAV 500 concept is formed of the same terminal as its sister UAV 200 product, combined with a High Gain Antenna, the HGA-6000, as currently installed on a variety of civil and military aircraft. The new system will weigh roughly 3kg, compared to the 1.45kg UAV 200 system, and will support 2.5 x the bandwidth of the existing product.

The proof of concept bench testing was carried out at locations in South Africa and the United Kingdom by Satlink Ltd UK. Cobham has already had expressions of interest in such a system from companies in the areas of defence, security and search & rescue.

Andrew Legg, Sales Director and responsible for Cobham’s UAV related BD activities at Cobham Aerospace Communications, commented: “We have been focused on this end of the market for some time and there has been strong demand for better data bandwidth to allow transmission of improved video imagery to the ground, but which would still be light enough to be carried by smaller UAVs. That customer feedback has pushed us to explore this new AVIATOR UAV product which would satisfy this demand and provide the beyond-line-of-sight capability that will make future UAV operation safer and more effective. We’re delighted that AVIATOR UAV 500 has passed this POC stage and we look forward to discussing the technology with interested parties.”

Cobham

FlytBase launches FlytGCS for remote drone operations with BVLOS

FlytBase, Inc., an enterprise drone automation company, launched FlytGCS, a cloud-based remote drone operations solution, at AUVSI Xponential 2019. With BVLOS capability at its core, FlytGCS is built for subject matter experts, drone operations managers and UAV operators who wish to automate, simplify and scale their missions.

Nitin Gupta, FlytBase CEO, commented, “With FlytGCS, the power of autonomy is made available to drone operators, subject matter experts and service providers who can now seamlessly manage drones over 4G/5G networks, with best-in-class latency and live video quality. As a SaaS product, this FlytBase offering helps our customers get started immediately, for free, and upgrade to the feature set that is best suited for their business needs. Operators have used FlytGCS in applications ranging from construction management and security/surveillance operations to emergency response and utility/asset inspections.”

For a free trial, visit https://flytgcs.live/ and get started in 5 easy steps – no credit card required.

UAVs will create significant business value as soon as drone fleets can fly BVLOS. Technologists, regulators, business executives and drone operators all expect the industry to soon progress towards remote, autonomous, cloud-based drone operations across geographies, sectors, and use-cases. To support the execution of such automated missions, and bring new insights to drone stakeholders, FlytBase is excited to launch FlytGCS at AUVSI Xponential 2019 in Chicago!

FlytGCS offers a wide range of features including connectivity and control over 4G/LTE/5G, live HD video feed, fleet management, unlimited missions and unlimited drone addition, remote gimbal control, pre-flight checklist and geofence, mission planner, cockpit view from web-dashboard, etc.

FlytGCS is a hardware-agnostic solution that helps securely deploy industry-standard drones over the cloud, for BVLOS operations, using a mobile app (for DJI drones) or onboard SBCs (for Ardupilot and PX4 drones). Add-ons like precision landing, fleet management, pilot team management and drone-in-a-box make FlytGCS a powerful, affordable and scalable alternative to traditional, expensive, desktop-based GCS products.

Introducing Drone Harmony Cloud

The Drone Harmony Cloud platform has been released. With it, Drone Harmony’s customers gain two new dimensions to their data capture workflows: cloud storage of mission data and a web-based planning interface. Combined with Drone Harmony’s mobile application, Drone Harmony is now offering a fully integrated data capture platform for drone service providers and enterprises.

Luzern, Switzerland – March 2019

Automated sharing and collaboration

A key capability introduced by the launch of Drone Harmony Cloud is the sync feature. The sync feature automatically consolidates and creates backups in the Drone Harmony Cloud of all saved mission planning data (including the scene, missions, flights, logs, etc.) across all mobile devices associated with the Drone Harmony account. Furthermore, a team collaborating on a site can have immediate access to all the missions planned by peers. The benefit for the manager is the ability to see an up to date snapshot of all the data acquisition activities in the comfort of the office, without the need to task her pilots to manually submit a report or export the Drone Harmony state. In short, the automatic sync feature is the automated archive for your organizations’ data acquisition activities.

Plan, edit and visualize – from any web browser

With the release of Drone Harmony Cloud, Drone Harmony’s customers gain access to the Drone Harmony web platform, a powerful new interface for exploiting Drone Harmony’s technology. The web application makes it very easy to interact with most of Drone Harmony constructs. With the aid of a large screen and a mouse, customers can now easily visualize and edit stored scenes and missions in ways that were not possible before. The web platform also offers some manual mission planning capabilities. In the near future, all automated planning features from Drone Harmony’s mobile application and a number of new features will be ported to the web platform as well.

A platform for drone data acquisition

Drone Harmony Cloud is much more than just another mission planning tool. It is a platform for organizing and managing all the information that is relevant to your organizations’ data acquisition activities.

The platform addresses the needs of larger enterprises performing drone data acquisition, providing the enterprises’ operation management a birds’-eye view of all asset sites while enabling seamless sharing and collaboration capabilities with operators. Smaller organizations can keep a history of their mission planning activity, perform comparisons and obtain an organizational single point of reference.

Upcoming updates of Drone Harmony Cloud will include the possibility to simultaneously visualize on the map groups of missions to gain further insight into ongoing and completed data capture activities.

What’s coming

Drone Harmony is hard at work on turning the cloud platform into the focal point of all drone data acquisition efforts for its customers. In particular, while on-site mission planning on the mobile device will remain a key capability, the aim is to position the web interface as the primary mission planning tool in the future. As a first step, all mission planning features from the Drone Harmony mobile application will be migrated to the web application. In later iterations, users can expect the web applications’ plan catalog to include some unique advanced features.

In consequence, our customers can expect the future generations of the web platform to include improved versions of Drone Harmony’s full 3D planning interface, new advanced cloud-based mission planning capabilities, the possibility to store advanced scene data (point clouds, meshes etc.) as well as drone data in the Drone Harmony Cloud and integrations of key services and products in the drone and GIS space.