Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 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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46 unmanned systems inside August/September 2016 ugust/Septe August/September 2016 August/September 2016 be August/September 2016 0 August/September 2016 6 August/September 2016 AIR SOFTWARE what3words is being used in 170 countries— including in Mongolia where it has been ad- opted as an addressing system for the national postal service, Jones said. In Brazil the service is particularly popular in the crowded favelas surrounding Rio where many of the 11 million residents don't have addresses. what3words can be used to both direct a drone to a place, say to image plants in a stunt- ed corner of an otherwise thriving field, or to re- port results—such as the location of a spot along a remote rail line in possible need of repair. One drone supplier is now studying whether it can enhance the maps in the what3words app with images taken by drones to help those living and working in refugee camps to find their way around. Danoffice, IT, an information technology firm based in Denmark, works exclusively with nonprofits and the United Nations. While it focuses on turnkey information technology solutions it also offers a range of unmanned aircraft including two manufactured by its sister company, Sky-Watch. Danoffice has be- gun experimenting with using a drone to map a refugee camp and then integrate that map into the what3words app to create a navigation tool with updated images. Photos courtesy of Altavian and Sky-Watch "You can get a satellite image that is taken by Google, by Bing or by another satellite and you can easily navigate around the cities we live," said Jacob Petersen, Danoffice's global sales manager for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). "But if we go to a refugee camp…things change on a daily basis—the infrastructure changes very quickly. New satellite images are not always available." The app can guide users from their current location to a new destination with both a map and verbal information. Moreover the 3 x 3 me- ter spaces are small enough to be especially help- ful—showing where the front door is, for exam- ple, as opposed to just the location of a building. Making a Delivery A user-friendly address with that level of ac- curacy may be particularly helpful to drone delivery firms. Many delivery companies are currently focused on bringing small, high-value packages like medicine to isolated areas where recipients may not have a precise or permanent address or be able to give their GPS coordinates. "The three-word address is 3 x 3 meters, so it is accurate enough for a drone delivery," Jones said, "and it's simple to communicate or to en- ter on a checkout page. Even if you think about making on-demand deliveries in other areas, like the middle of the park, a three-word ad- dress works everywhere." The app is also freestanding—that is it does not need an Internet connection to work. An algorithm not a database generates the ad- dresses, which makes it easier to integrate into equipment like a cellphone. Though the app is free to consumers, firms wishing to integrate what3words as, say, a delivery address option, pay what3words for use of their code. The ability to operate without a Web con- nection makes what3words particularly use- ful in places like disaster areas, where Internet connectivity may not be available. In fact the United Nations has integrated what3words into UN-Asign, a free app that supports crowd "WE ARE JUST STARTING to learn what kind of applications this enables." John Perry, founder and CEO of Altavian what3words addresses can be used to tag drone imagery and other information.

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