IN-FLIGHT Datas five-month ‘UAS BVLOS Proof-of Concept Trial, supported by senseFly, will span a wide range of real-world drone-missions totalling more than 1,500 km of linear flight
Calgary, Canada / Cheseaux, Switzerland, June 04, 2018One of Canada’s leading commercial drone operators, IN-FLIGHT Data, this week is embarking upon Canada’s largest BVLOS UAS Operations trial to date, with support from senseFly, the industrys leading provider of professional mapping drones and a commercial drone subsidiary of Parrot Group.
The projects goal is to demonstrate that BVLOS UAS flights can be conducted safely and efficiently, to the benefit of all Canadians, while providing cost reductions and/or operational efficiencies for the different use-cases involved.
We are truly excited to get the go ahead for this ambitious project, said Chris Healy, the owner of IN-FLIGHT Data. Working closely with senseFly and our 20 partner organisations, well be collecting a huge amount of geo-accurate dataacross many types of long-range drone applicationswhich we are confident will help contribute to the creation of pragmatic future BVLOS legislation.
The scope of this trial is, we believe, unique in Canada, if not the region, added senseFlys Regulatory Project Manager, Samuel Dpraz. The vast amount of flight safety data and learnings that Chris’ team will collect and share will be extremely beneficial to the future growth of Canadas commercial drone industry, and Im sure other regulators around the world will be following this project with interest. With IN-FLIGHT Data’s extensive operational experience, the projects diverse, committed partners, and its Compliant senseFly drones, Ive no doubt this trial will be a success."
IN-FLIGHT Datas trial will run until early November. During this time the company will aim to complete one BVLOS mission per week. Defined by the trial’s 20 partner organisations, these missions will span everything from pipeline surveys and crop mapping to landfill volume analyses, graveyard inventory assessments and even search and rescue applications.
Key trial statistics include:
14 different test sites: some specific Transport Canada ‘in-range’ sites, others ‘off-range’ open airspace sites in rural locations.
2 drones (UAS): senseFly eBee Plus & senseFly eBee
Flights up to 10 km in length
Over 1,500 km total linear flight distance
More than 120 datasets: spanning both RGB and thermal infrared aerial imagery.
Human observers will monitor flights and air traffic in order to compare their observations, for example, with operators’ ground station software experiences.
The reasons we made this trial so large are two-fold, said Healy. The more data, the better the risk models Transport Canada can create, which will help them to create safety-focused BVLOS regulations that benefit everyone. And secondly, there are just so many potential BVLOS applications out there, we really wanted to explore a good number of these.
The flight safety data collected during the trial will be provided to Unmanned Systems Canada and TC to help define BVLOS risk models for different categories of unmanned aircraft. In the case of IN-FLIGHT Data, the eBee and eBee Plus drones it will use during the trial, designated ‘Compliant’ systems by TC, fall within Canadas TCs proposed ‘Very Small’ (sub-1kg) and ‘Complex operations (urban)’ commercial drone categories respectively. These UAS will be operated using senseFlys commercial-grade eMotion ground station software, which includes integrated air traffic and geo-awareness datakey to running safe BVLOS operations in non-controlled airspacescourtesy of AirMap and uAvionix air traffic data systems.
In 2017, senseFly became the first drone operator to be granted anytime Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) authorisation in Switzerland, plus its systems are currently approved for BVLOS use in France, Spain, Denmark and China. senseFly was also one of several organisations that were instrumental in the success of last years ground-breaking Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) demonstration in Geneva (Swiss U-space demo). The eBee Plus, eBee SQ and albris were designated Compliant Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) by TC in August 2017, while senseFlys original eBee drone became Canadas first compliant fixed-wing drone back in 2015.
About IN-FLIGHT Data
Since 2014, IN-FLIGHT Data has been delivering timely, high quality spatial data acquisition that our partners and customers have trusted to make important business and mission-critical decisions.
IN-FLIGHT Data has a proven track record of safe UAV operations with zero safety incidents over work sites that are routinely measured in sections. We work on projects using compliant aircraft and field-tested procedures to ensure the highest quality aerial work anywhere in Canada, for some of Canada’s largest and most respected companies, organisations and government agencies.
At senseFly we believe in using technology to make work safer and more efficient. Our proven drone solutions simplify the collection and analysis of geospatial data, allowing professionals in surveying, agriculture, engineering and humanitarian aid to make better decisions, faster. Founded in 2009, senseFly is the commercial drone subsidiary of Parrot Group. More information on www.sensefly.com.
Founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux, Parrot is today the leading European group in the fast-growing industry of drones. Visionary, at the forefront of innovation, Parrot is a real End to End drone group from hardware and software to services. Parrot, the world’s number 2 of the consumer drone market, is also offering business solutions, covering drones, software and services mainly focusing on 3 major verticals: (i) Agriculture, (ii) 3D Mapping, Surveying and Inspection and (iii) Public safety.
The Parrot Group mainly designs and engineers its products in Europe. More information on www.parrot.com