Fixed-Wing VTOL UAVs for VLOS and BVLOS Operations | Mobile Drone Command Vehicles

New Commercial BVLOS 12-Mile Milestone

By Mike Ball / 10 Feb 2022

Soaring Eagle BVLOS UAV

Censys Technologies and Soaring Eagle Technologies have confirmed that the two companies have secured their third BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) waiver, which will allow them to utilise UAS (unmanned aerial systems) for more efficient tech-enabled data acquisition. The waiver covers a 12-mile distance, which is the longest distance ever approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Soaring Eagle.

Over the past three years both companies have worked closely with the FAA to build a reputable safety case using Iris Automation’s advanced detect-and-avoid technology (DAA) system, Casia, and have completed thousands of flights. The Soaring Eagle team plans to utilize the waiver for inspecting transmission power lines per the FAA’s Part 107.31/33 waiver, enabling the remote pilot-in-command (RPIC) to fly three miles down range for a total of six unique miles of data.

The FAA requires drone pilots to maintain visual line of sight at all times with any drone they are operating, unless they have secured a BVLOS waiver. The Censys Technologies team utilizes its industry expertise, DAA technology and data to help get clients’ aircraft in the sky quickly and efficiently for advanced operations.

Will Paden, President of Soaring Eagle, commented: “Soaring Eagle, Censys and Iris Automation are on a mission to help surveyors, engineers and asset managers — including those responsible for utilities, bridges and other critical infrastructure—bridge the gap in cost effectiveness in applications of unmanned aviation. The continued expansion of BVLOS operations means data acquisition with significantly lower cost and environmental impact.”

Gabrielle Wain, VP of Global Policy and Government Affairs at Iris Automation, stated: “Censys and Soaring Eagle Technologies are doing truly significant work to expand BVLOS operations. Censys and their clients have documented a huge amount of flight data, coupled with the Casia DAA’s groundbreaking performance and reliability data, to prove their mission’s safety and capability to the FAA.”

John Lobdell, Chief Technology Officer and waiver team lead at Censys, noted: “The difference between submitting a waiver three years ago and today is data. When we submit a waiver now, we have proof from our flight teams, DAA supplier and customers that proves BVLOS mission reliability.”

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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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