The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the noise certification standards for Ondas Holdings’ Optimus-1EX drone system, in connection with the Type Certification process that Ondas’ wholly-owned business Airobotics began with the FAA in 2019.
Meeting the noise requirements criteria is the final major step towards completing the Type Certification process that will allow the Optimus System to operate more broadly in urban environments in the US.
According to Ondas, this milestone would help fulfill the company’s vision of deploying fleets of Optimus systems as a permanent drone infrastructure for the purpose of providing Smart City, Public Safety, Drone as a First Responder (DFR), and other commercial and industrial aerial data services.
“We are looking forward to receiving the Type Certification for the Optimus System, which will be a significant benefit for our customers, both in the US and internationally,” said Eric Brock, Chairman and CEO of Ondas. “The Optimus System is one of the most mature automated drone platforms in the market in terms of proven reliability, safety and value, and we believe that it will be a game-changing solution for local governments and commercial entities that are looking to streamline aerial data capture in American cities. The market for Urban Drone Infrastructure with Smart City and DFR use cases is immense and we are excited to drive adoption of our platform solutions in the US.”
The Airobotics drone-in-a-box solution, which is already deployed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, relies on fleets of automated drones that do not require on-the-ground human intervention to operate as a task force that can simultaneously collect and provide critical information for a variety of customer requirements.
Each Optimus system, networked as fleet infrastructure, includes a smart airbase enabling automated battery changes for 24/7 operations, along with the automated loading and installation of sensors appropriate for each specified mission.
Optimus drones can cover up to 30 square miles surrounding an airbase, and drone flights can be tasked to carry specific sensors, enabling each drone within the fleet to execute diverse tasks. The drones can be activated for complex longer-term operations, with flights overseen by remote operators in a command-and-control center.
“From the very beginning of our journey, Airobotics has been aiming to deploy drones as city-wide infrastructure to help governments provide city services more efficiently, to improve public safety and security and other use cases,” said Meir Kliner, Airobotics CEO. “With the completion of the noise certification standard, we are getting closer to completing this process, which will allow the Optimus system to operate in complex environments in the US. Flying drones Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is only one familiar problem, while crossing and flying above people, roads, and infrastructure are important operating challenges to solve. With Type Certification, we will be able to work with the FAA on much more complicated drone operations.”
The rigorous FAA Type Certification process has only been completed by one drone company since the FAA began offering Type Certification for UAS in 2019. Airobotics, which is focused on capturing valuable data and information in urban environments, is one of the most advanced companies in the process of pursuing a Type Certificate with the FAA and expects to secure the formal Type Certificate during 2023.