Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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20 unmanned systems inside June/July 2016 HARDWARE AIR FORMING PARTNERSHIPS PrecisionHawk recently formed a partnership with DJI, enabling its software to be used in more applications. PrecisionHawk has developed control software for DJI's Matrice M100 and M600 to create an easy-to-use drone and data package for farmers. PrecisionHawk also has formed a strategic alliance with Insitu to provide UAS solutions that enable safe unmanned f ight for extended and beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations. Through the alliance the companies will integrate their platforms, hardware and software. "It's our belief it's not just about the drone," said Thomas Haun, PrecisionHawk's vice president for strategy. "The drone is a tool. If you need a low f ying focused hovering aircraft DJI will work wonderfully. If you need to survey a couple of f elds, then it's the Lancaster. If you need to f y a long distance ScanEagle will cover you." DATA PLATFORMS Some companies, like PrecisionHawk, who manufacture the Lancaster 5, provide data platforms to ensure end-users get the high-quality information they need. "These drones can provide not only data processing but also analysis," Haun said. "We focus on the questions you're trying to get answered and then creating an ecosystem that allows you to get that answer as repeatedly and simply as possible." formation so they can turn around and say this is the extent of our damage. You can't manage a crisis unless you can measure it. There's no better way to do that than to use UAS to create emergency maps." You have to have a tough, resilient system for this kind of application, and Singh couldn't imagine doing it without the SkyRanger. "It's just a workhorse," he said. "You put it up, it gets the information, it comes back and you swap out the batteries and change the card and it goes back up. When one is f lying a mission we have a generator running in the back of a pickup. The whole idea is to fly all day. And I'm only touching on a piece of its capabilities. Just incredible performance. Every day we f ly the missions and every night we upload the data and make maps. We have the maps the next morning." Sensor Swapping Increasingly, advanced systems are also more versatile, Bethel said. "We found the high-end systems are becom- ing more sensor modularized," Bethel said, "so you can swap things out—where you can re- move a daytime color photo camera and put in maybe a thermal video camera or a hyperspec- tral camera in the same payload. It's nice to see some of the vendors going that direction rather than purchasing a completely separate system to fly a separate mission." Many entry-level systems lack such f lexibil- ity, Hogan said. "Even if you're using the UAS for one applica- tion, within that application there might be a time when you use different payloads," Hogan said, noting microdrones offers standard pay- loads for agriculture and inspection applica- tions but can also work with customers to create other payload options. "Mapping is a good ex- ample of that. Depending on your requirements you might select a different camera. The ability to swap between payloads is important." Continued from page 17 Photos courtesy of PrecisionHawk

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