Airobotics Drone Receives FAA Type Certification

The Optimus-1EX uncrewed aircraft is the first non-air carrier drone designed for autonomous security and data capture that has been granted type certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) By Joe Macey / 14 Sep 2023
Airobotics Optimus-1EX drone receives FAA Type Certification
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Airobotics Type Certification for its Optimus-1EX system.

The certification verifies the compliance of the system’s design with the required FAA airworthiness and noise standards, ensuring safe operation within the National Airspace System (NAS) thereby significantly broadening the range of operational scenarios and scaling up of operations for automated uncrewed aircraft. 

“We are thrilled to announce that our Optimus System has met all of the specific airworthiness and noise standards set by the FAA,” said Eric Brock, Chairman and CEO of Ondas. “Now available in the United States through American Robotics, we extend a warm welcome to visionary municipalities and public safety departments, as well as commercial and industrial entities eager to harness this certified technology for taking drone aerial security and data to the next level of automation for digital transformation within a wide variety of environments. We invite you to join us in embracing a new era of autonomous drone operations.”

Type Certificates hold significant importance and value in the aviation industry with the process designed to ensure that aircraft and components meet specific airworthiness standards set by the regulatory authority.

The FAA initially began working with leading commercial drone manufacturers, including Airobotics, on the type certification process in 2019. Airobotics, focused on data capturing in urban environments, stands as the first non-air carrier vehicle to achieve it among numerous companies pursuing UAS type certification with the FAA. The Optimus System ranks among the most mature automated drone platforms in the market in terms of proven reliability, safety, and value. Ondas believes the Type Certificate presents a game-changing solution for local governments and commercial entities seeking to streamline aerial data capture using a safe and certified airworthy UAS.

“Obtaining a Type Certificate brings major benefits for Airobotics as a drone manufacturer,” said Meir Kliner, Airobotics’ CEO. “The current drone operations under Part 107 waivers allow certain deviations from applicable regulations for specific drone operations. However, UAs without an airworthiness certificate face great obstacles in obtaining waivers to operate over people. This market advantage instills confidence in potential customers and regulatory agencies regarding Optimus’ safety and compliance. Type certified Optimus-1EX drones will soon be operated in a broader range of scenarios, including safely over human beings. We believe the market potential for Urban Drone Infrastructure, featuring Smart City and DFR use cases, is immense, and we are enthusiastic about driving the adoption of our platform solutions across the U.S.”

“The FAA evaluated the Optimus System through comprehensive flight testing, conformity inspections, design reviews, and the submission of detailed documentation and manuals,” said Niv Russo, Airobotics’ VP of Aviation & Regulation. “We have completed this pioneering process, which was previously unavailable for uncrewed aircraft, in collaboration with a dedicated FAA team. I wish to extend our appreciation and gratitude to the skilled FAA professionals whose contributions have significantly enriched our journey of growth and learning.”

Already deployed in the UAE and Israel, the Optimus System relies on fleets of automated drones that operate without on-the-ground human intervention. These drones function as a task force, simultaneously collecting and providing critical information for various customer requirements.

Each Optimus System, networked as fleet infrastructure, includes a smart airbase enabling automated battery changes for 24/7 operations. It also facilitates automated loading and installation of sensors suited for each specified mission. Optimus drones cover a perimeter of up to 30 square miles surrounding an airbase. Drone flights can be tasked with specific sensors, enabling diverse tasks within the fleet. Complex, longer-term operations can be activated, overseen by remote operators in a command-and-control center.

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