by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
This week, leading air and ground robotic security company Asylon, Inc. revealed that it has been granted three beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) waivers from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
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Pertaining to the company’s automated security drone-in-a-box system and service, these waivers will authorize Asylon to conduct BVLOS operations within four initial sites around the U.S. Though similar waivers have been granted to groups such as Google’s Wing, Zipline, Xcel Energy, and Matternet, this is the first time a waiver of this class has been granted for an automated security drone system.
Asylon first worked alongside the FAA in February 2020 as part of the BEYOND Program, then known as the UAS Integration Pilot Program, when the company deployed its automated DroneSentry system at Memphis International Airport for FedEx Express.
“Starting in 2018, I was managing the security drone program at FedEx Freight,” said Mark Landry, FedEx Freight’s former Senior Manager of Corporate Strategic Security. “At this time, we were operating in fairly uncharted regulatory territory through different programs with the FAA. The Asylon team joined and immediately helped educate all stakeholders involved. Their expertise and leadership allowed us to chart a path of safety, compliance, and innovation. And, because of this key partnership, we were able to successfully scale projects that had never been done before in the U.S.”
Asylon has carried out over 20,000 automated patrol and alarm response missions in the United States with its fully automated DroneCore system, monitoring for potential crimes and issues while offering real-time intelligence to security teams. The system has also investigated and cleared thousands of false alarms, lightening the burden on short-staffed security teams.
“There are only a few dozen companies in the world who have achieved what Asylon has just done here,” said Dan Elwell, Former Acting Administrator of the FAA and Asylon advisory board member. “Of the few who have received these BVLOS waivers, I do believe that Asylon is different. The security use-case is perfect, the remote operations are built out, the process developed with securing this last waiver is scalable, and the sheer number of automated flights Asylon has done to prove the safety case is incredible. I’m confident that, with this team and technology, this is just the start.”
One of the BVLOS waivers was granted to GXO Logistics, an Asylon customer who recently announced the major scaling of its security robotics program. GXO’s DroneSentry system at its Clayton, Indiana-based facility is now authorized to conduct flight operations at night, as well as over people and moving vehicles. The waiver also designates the analyst working in Asylon’s Robotic Security Operations Center (RSOC) in Norristown, Pennsylvania as remote pilot in command (RPIC).
“Asylon’s core team, founded by MIT aerospace engineers, brings a lot of experience in the industry. Because of this, we started building the data and safety case on day one. Now, we’ve crafted a scalable, templated process that embodies our core value of quality first, safety always,” said Asylon Co-Founder and COO Brent McLaughlin. “These initial BVLOS waivers are a significant step for scaling our operations to meet the massive demand of the security industry. We’re certain automated end-to-end rapid response aerial vehicles like DroneSentry will create safer facilities for our customers and their employees. Our team is honored to innovate with the FAA and key customers on this.”
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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
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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