US-Made Drone Flight Computer Introduced

By Mike Ball / 21 Mar 2021
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Windhover Labs has announced the upcoming availability of its first hardware product, a modular flight computer for commercial UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that will be available in a low-cost version as well as mission-critical professional models with features that facilitate integration into the National Air Space.

The drone flight computers feature hardware and software developed in the United States, and have been created following recent U.S. legislation that aims to increase the security of drone technology. The systems are built on a NASA-developed flight software framework that has previously been in use on space vehicles and follows commercial aircraft and government safety and quality standards. They have been designed for flying drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) with a portable design that allows flight software to be easily ported to multiple platforms. Windhover Labs plans to certify commercial models under FAA rules to allow autonomous flight within the National Air Space.

The company has previously announced an open drone software ecosystem, and a successful test flight marked a significant milestone of Windhover’s Phase II NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Windhover Labs’ code is open with a strict testing and quality control process, which follows privacy measures and maintains the highest quality and reliability.

Mathew Benson, Co-Founder and CEO at Windhover Labs, commented: “My team and I are pleased to reach the finished product and marry the drone industry with NASA’s 50+ years of space flight experience. We took a different approach than most startups by investing everything into our product first, rather than seeking funds with only an idea. I’m proud of my team’s agility and discipline over this journey and we’re excited to embark on our next product.”

Michael Lowry, Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames, stated: “Windhover Labs is building upon the safety and reliability of NASA’s core Flight System for the drone universe. NASA’s cFS is a proven and expandable software foundation for space missions, which can also provide an expandable software solution for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.”

Steve Dixon, CEO of Full Throttle Unmanned Aerial Systems, said: “The Windhover Labs team is accomplishing phenomenal things down in Texas City and Full Throttle Aerial LLC is looking forward to our very bright future working together. When you pair superior aircraft with a superior flight control system, along with superior flight software, you provide the ultimate solution to all sectors of the UAV market.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact
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