PrecisionHawk Inc., a provider of drone technology, announced the first Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)-enabled, multi-rotor drone platform. First to market, the drone incorporates industry-leading technology to automatically identify all cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft within a 10km radius, ensuring airspace de-confliction well before potential confrontation. The platform was designed based on the findings and recommendations in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pathfinder Report, which serves as a blueprint for enterprises to conduct BVLOS drone operations.
Through the Pathfinder fieldwork, PrecisionHawk identified three pieces of technology that should be required for safe BVLOS operations. The technology components were incorporated into a multirotor drone that can fly two hours and up to 40 miles in one flight to support safe, long-range operations:
- Drone Tracking: Drone is equipped with GPS technology to broadcast location and trajectory of the drone at all times, making it visible to drones and other aircraft in its vicinity.
- Real-Time Manned Aircraft Identification: Drone includes low altitude traffic and airspace safety (LATAS) technology, which provides access to real-time manned aircraft data through an exclusive partnership with HARRIS.
- Detect and Avoid for Non-Cooperative Aircraft: An acoustic-based aircraft detection (ABAD) system is integrated on the drone to detect non-cooperative aircraft, available through an exclusive partnership with SARA.
“Under the regulatory framework for conducting drone operations, drone pilots are required to “see and avoid” other aircraft. Easily done on an aircraft with humans in the cockpit, this is far more challenging for a drone pilot located on the ground,” says Allison Ferguson, director of airspace safety at PrecisionHawk. “This is where choosing the right assistive technology is critical to safe BVLOS flight.”