FlightOps OS Utilized in First Ever Autonomous, Multi-Drone BVLOS Missions in Urban Area
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Multi-drone operating system FlightOps recently partnered with drone operator FlyTech IL to conduct the first ever multiple drone operations in an urban area.
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As part of an operational trial for the Israeli Police, drones were deployed in Ramla and Lod, two Tel Aviv suburbs with a combined population of 154,000. Two drones served as first responders managed by FlyTech’s Yahav Preiss, the first commercial drone pilot in Israel licensed to operate beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS).
Upon receiving a call of a reported incident, the police headline would forward the address to the drone pilot in the command and control center. The pilot uploaded the address into the FlightOps system and monitored the autonomous drone flight. After flying to the site of the incident, the drone then transmitted the visual back to the command center before returning to headquarters.
“The drones are fitted with three sim cards from three different mobile network operators and the drones are controlled via LTE network secure links,” said Preiss. “In the event of an incident, the FlightOps multi-drone operating system alerts the drone and it takes off, flying a geo-fenced, autonomous route to the scene, transmitting images of the event to the police control center. Eventually, if the trials are successful, the images will also be transmitted to police vehicles.”
One of the more challenging aspects of the trial was collaborating with the regulator, the Israeli Air Force and the Tel Aviv International Airport on a comprehensive airspace assessment to guarantee the drones can safely operate in a shared airspace below rooftops – a process that required lowering minimum separation distances between aircraft to 500 ft and within 100m of the No Fly Zone perimeter.
Prior to this operation, a pre-trial was held last October as part of the Israeli National Drone Initiative (INDI), pioneered by Ayalon Highways, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Innovation Authority and the Smart Transportation Administration. The trial took place in Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut, a city with approximately 93,000 residents.
“The missions in Ramla and Lod built upon the Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut operation and reaffirmed the value of multiple autonomous drones flying BVLOS in urban airspace. We are delighted that our technology enables security and rescue forces to reach any point in real time,” said FlightOps CEO Shay Levy. “These missions save time, and with more operations carried out, will save lives.”
The FlightOps OS grants scalable flight automation as infrastructure software allowing for fully automated BVLOS air mobility. FlightOps operates by installing software onto any type of drone, which it converts into an autonomous robot.
FlightOps technology converts drone pilot knowledge into digital algorithms and artificial intelligence, replacing human pilots and allowing for major growth in simultaneous missions. Utilizing FlightOps lowers operating costs and allows for the completion of complex missions at greater distances while preserving high safety standards and regulatory compliance.
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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