The award-winning State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, is the first in the NBA to use drones for disinfection. The arena is preparing to host the annual NBA All-Star Festivities and kick off the second half of the 2020-21 season.
State Farm Arena hired Lucid Drone Technologies to use their D1 disinfection drone (D1) to help clean up the 17,500-seat venue between events.
“The roughly 27-pound drone holds a 10-liter tank of cleaning solution and comes with multiple battery packs and a custom charger to enable continuous cleaning cycles,” said a Lucid press release. “When fully charged, the D1 can cover 150,000 square feet in an hour, so the total time it takes to sanitize the State Farm Arena is an hour and a half.”
Like most drone systems, the D1 is programmed with an indoor flight mode instead of GPS-based navigation: it was specially developed for the delivery of disinfectants.
“With the health and safety of everyone entering the State Farm Arena as our primary concern, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve processes and achieve the highest possible standard of operational efficiency,” said Geoffrey Stiles, senior vice president, facilities and Events for “Using Lucid technology, some of our employees have developed new skills while others have been assigned to new roles in the arena to make better use of our workforce.”
Using Lucid’s D1 drones for disinfection requires a two-person team made up of a pilot and a security seeker. “The pilot is responsible for flying the drone and dispensing the disinfectant solution, while the safety spotter is connected to the pilot via a headset so that the spotter can constantly pass on important flight information relating to safety, efficiency and effectiveness,” it says in the press release. “As part of the D1 implementation, some of the arena’s current employees will become certified drone pilots.”
The COVID pandemic has created major problems for the arenas and the professional sports and entertainment industries. The State Farm Arena can currently only be operated with a capacity of 8% for Hawks home games. The one-day all-star game celebration will only take place on March 7, 2021.
“The pandemic has created a lot of trouble for large venues such as professional sports stadiums as there are only a limited number of hours between events. With our drones, our customers were able to disinfect up to 14 times faster than conventional methods, ”said Andrew Ashur, CEO / Co-Founder of Lucid Drone Tech.
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has written over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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