Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2018 - JAN 2019

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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32  December 2018/January 2019 unmanned systems inside AIR IPP RENO Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve called it an "opportunity to create high-pay- ing jobs and help develop the kind of drone technology that will have a di- rect and positive impact on the citizens of Reno." This isn't the first drone delivery ef- fort for Flirtey in Reno. In 2016 , the company partnered with convenience store chain 7-Eleven to make the first FAA-approved drone delivery to a cus- tomer's residence. In all, 77 deliveries were made from one store location to a dozen Reno customers. Customers could order anything from Slurpees to hot food items and over-the-counter medications. Pilots were in visual line of sight of the drones during the deliveries. FIRST MULTI-DRONE FLIGHTS In September 2018, Reno and Flirtey announced they had completed the first f lights for the IPP. A single Flirtey pilot simultaneously f lew multiple drones and simulated the delivery of AEDs in the presence of the FAA. The drones were within the visual line of sight of the pilot. "We understand this was the first time the FAA has ever approved multi- drone operations for drone delivery," WHAT'S NEXT Flirtey will continue to make multi- drone deliveries while it is working on the next set of FA A approvals for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) f lights. Flying BVLOS will enable pi- lots to operate the drones from a re- mote Flirtey f light command center. As is the case with all of the IPP teams, Reno will have to provide the FAA with a strong safety case. Flying B VLOS is the next big step for the industry , Sweeny said. "If these drones can operate routinely with re- mote pilots, that will enable scale and multiple deployments, life-saving oper- ations and commercial deployments." Several industry partners are pro- viding essential technology to the Reno team. AirMap will provide the UAS traffic management system (UTM) the Flirtey pilot will use to access informa- tion necessary for safe integration into the Reno air space at low altitudes. As a UAS Service Supplier (USS) for NASA's UTM program, AirMap has participated in past trials to suc- cessfully demonstrate UTM capabili- ties, including geofencing, rule-based situational awareness, f light planning, airspace conf lict resolution, notice and BUILDING A MODEL FOR MEDICAL DELIVERIES The city of Reno, Nevada , Flirtey and its partners hope to create a model for broader life-saving medical deliveries. Other types of cargo could include: • Epi-Pens • Blood • Lab samples •  Disaster relief, such as food, water and fi rst aid Sweeny said. "This is a real key to al- lowing us to deliver defibrillators in the city of Reno and also to paving the way for commercial drone delivery at scale." A waiver was granted based on advanced autonomous drone technol- ogy and a strong safety track record. Sweeny explained the significance of the multi-drone f lights. "You can only have one person riding a bike. You can only have one person driving an ambulance, but you can have one Flirtey pilot overseeing many drones. We are starting with two drones but eventually we will increase that num- ber." With autonomous operations, Sweeny believes drone delivery has the potential to be the lowest cost de- livery method. This is an opportunity to create high-paying jobs and help develop the kind of drone technology that will have a direct and positive impact on the citizens of Reno." Hillary Schieve, mayor, City of Reno, Nevada Photo courtesy of Flirtey. Flirtey envisions pilots operating multiple drones from a remote Flirtey fl ight command center. "

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