The Israeli pilot program for the delivery of drones has now demonstrated civil drone flights in non-GPS environments using camera-based visual navigation. “The successful test will pave the way for an autonomous drone delivery in Israel,” said a press release.
The technology for autonomous drone flight is available: as is the technology for safe flight out of line of sight (BVLOS). However, in order to put all the pieces together, the parties involved must consider all the possibilities and the GPS signal will interfere with one of them. “This type of disruption can come from a variety of sources, including enemies trying to disrupt a military mission, people using it for their own purposes, satellite malfunctions, and even solar flares,” the news release said.
The possibility of an interruption makes it important for the drone industry to demonstrate other navigation methods. “A first global test of civilian drone flights in environments without GPS was successfully carried out in Israel in a special drone test zone in Yeruham, in which safe navigation solutions for the drone flight Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) were presented,” said the announcement .
“The test is part of NAAMA, the Israeli drone delivery pilot program run by the Israel Ministry of Transportation (MOT), Ayalon Highways, Israel Civil Aviation Authority (CAAI) and Israel Innovation Agency to test drone technologies in managed airspace and demonstrate (UTM). “
Sightec’s NavSight system for autonomous flights based on computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies demonstrated its technologies integrated with Simplex Interactive’s FlightOps.io drone operating system and the operation of multiple drones out of line of sight and in common airspace enable.
The NavSight system developed by Sightec enables camera-based visual situation awareness for autonomous day and night missions from the air, including visual navigation and landing (GPS-free), detection and classification of ground and air objects as well as 3D mapping and change detection for a comprehensive Understanding the constantly changing environment around the drone. NavSight turns standard cameras into intelligent, affordable sensors that allow the drone to “see and understand” its surroundings like a human pilot.
The “FlightOps Drone Operating System” is the only technology certified by the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority that flies commercial deliveries of urban drones beyond Line of Sight (BVLOS) and has performed hundreds of commercial flights under the NAAMA [Israeli drone pilot program] Initiative, ”says the press release.
These successful tests could be an important milestone for the autonomous delivery of drones in Israel – and in the rest of the world. Providing a worst-case scenario with disruption to GPS services makes implementing the business-as-usual scenario easier at best.
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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