Massachusetts drone developer American Robotics is joining the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee, according to a company press release.
Recently acquired by wireless broadband company Ondas Holdings, American Robotics produces the automated Scout drone system, the first such system to receive FAA regulatory approvals for autonomous flight.
The acronym-heavy UAS BVLOS ARC is tasked with floating recommendations for “performance-based regulatory requirements to normalize safe, scalable, economically viable, and environmentally advantageous UAS BVLOS operations that are not under positive air traffic control (ATC),” according to the FAA.
“American Robotics is excited to participate in pushing forward BVLOS regulations alongside the FAA to develop safe integration of UAS into our National Airspace System,” said Reese Mozer, co-founder and CEO of American Robotics.
“Our groundbreaking FAA approval in January 2021 was an important and significant step forward for the commercial drone community as a whole. We look forward to sharing our insights with the broader commercial drone community, and the FAA, and providing commercial users better access to the data and insights that are only accessible through an automated drone solution.”
A company statement adds:
“Automated BVLOS operations are particularly important to bringing the commercial sectors into the drone economy, including the oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure, and agriculture verticals. Key to these operations is the use, and FAA acceptance, of new and innovative safety technologies, such as long-range detect and avoid (DAA) sensors and software-enabled automation. The ARC will be a key step towards the future of the commercial drone industry.”
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced the ARC during a keynote at the agency’s UAS Symposium last month. “This committee will consider the safety, security and environmental needs, as well as societal benefits, of these operations. Within six months, the committee will submit a recommendations report to the FAA,” Dickson said.
Those recommendations could help American Robotics integrate the Scout System into Ondas FullMAX platform, a networking solution data communications solution for field area operations.
The company plans to use the Scout System as a mobile data gathering application for wide field area operations in industrial, agricultural and governmental settings. The system includes:
- Scout, a fully autonomous drone with advanced imaging payloads;
- ScoutBase, a ruggedized base station for housing, charging, data processing and cloud transfer;
- ScoutView, American Robotics’ analytics and front-end software package.
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