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AIRLink stands for Artificial Intelligence & Remote Link. The unit includes cutting-edge drone autopilot, AI mission computer and LTE connectivity unit. Start your enterprise drone operations with AIRLink and reduce the time to market from years and months down to a few weeks.

More info: https://sky-drones.com/airlink

Sky-Drones Technologies hit their 10-year anniversary this year, so to celebrate the occasion the company decided to prolong the launch of their latest addition to the product range. This has been an entire year in the making, excitement has built up, and expectations have been implied, but the team have absolutely not disappointed!

As drones become more and more hardware-defined and software-orientated, Sky-Drones Technologies must be at the forefront of innovation. With that in mind, the company presents UAV industry specialists and enthusiasts alike: AIRLink. The artificial intelligence and remote link unit that is installed to your enterprise UAV to provide:

  1. Cutting edge autopilot: manual and fully autonomous flight capabilities for multirotors, fixed wings and VTOLs
  2. AI Mission Computer: onboard data processing and computer vision
  3. LTE Connectivity: BVLOS flights, Cloud connectivity and remote workflows

What these exceptional elements mean for the UAS industry is the start of a whole new era in UAV flight control, data analytics, and safety. Never has anyone created a product that can withstand such extreme ambient temperatures and high computational power without an overheating issue, a product that has entirely integrated hardware and software for flight and payload data analytics, a product that can be so many products in one or one product with so many cutting-edge capabilities... Until now.

To give an overview, AIRLink comes with a FPV HDR 1080p camera to provide users with a video stream that has exceptional image quality. The unit is constantly connected to the internet, has been designed with critical peripherals as an essential element for user convenience, and has built-in LTE and Wi-Fi. 

The goal with AIRLink is to integrate this all-in-one unit into the UAV designs during the manufacturing stages so as to focus the efforts and resources of the drone itself rather than avionics and connectivity. With that in mind, Sky-Drones offers a variety of options when choosing how to use AIRLink to the best of its ability:

  1. AIRLink OEM – purchase AIRLink as Sky-Drones designed it. Includes all the features and aviation-grade aluminium casing with the heatsink. The process includes simply installing the unit to your UAV.
  2. AIRLink Enterprise – Sky-Drones will provide the internal electronics of the AIRLink units, excluding the casing to reduce the size of the units and integrate them directly into your UAV during the manufacturing process.
  3. Reference Design – build AIRLink yourself in-house! Sky-Drones will provide all the relevant instructions, manufacturing material, and will be on hand for engineering support whilst you set up your operation for manufacturing your own AIRLink units.

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FlytNow support for iOS is finally here! FlytBase is excited to announce the release of the FlytNow drone video streaming and fleet management application for iPhones and iPads. Users can now connect their DJI Mavic Mini and other supported DJI drones to FlytNow Hub using iOS devices.

iOS APP Link - https://apps.apple.com/cg/app/flytnow/id1541833663

The FlytNow Mobile application acts as a link that enables internet connectivity on DJI drones. Once connected to the mobile application, users can log on to the web-based dashboard, FlytNow Hub, to monitor and control drone operations from anywhere in the world. So far, FlytNow Mobile was available only on Android devices for live video streaming and remote fleet management. 

With the latest announcement of iOS support, users can now establish a connection to FlytNow Hub using iPads and iPhones. 

The current release of the iOS application supports live video streaming, loudspeaker, spotlight and beacon controls via the mobile device. Users can also switch to thermal feed and change color palettes for supported drones. Once connected to FlytNow Hub,  users can fully automate their drone operations, from planning missions and pre-scheduling routine patrols to charging pad/drone box integrations. Businesses can also use third-party integrations with the FlytNow platform to build fully-automated solutions for security, public-safety and delivery.

Join FlytBase for their hands-on webinar, as they demonstrate how to “Get started with Remote Aerial Missions using FlytNow & SkyPort” on the 25th of February at 11:00 CST (18:00 CET). To register, please visit the following link: https://flytnow.com/webinars/flytnow-and-skycharge/

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Long Range Package Delivery via VTOL Drone

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YANGDA VTOL drone was carrying out a package delivery mission like this: it took off with the package, flew to the delivery point, and landed there. At the delivery point, the operator will take the package out and press a button on the VTOL to enable it to fly back to the take-off point. The whole process was totally in autonomy.

Or the delivery VTOL drone can do it like this: lands on the delivery point, releases the package and then flies back to the take-off point.

Please check this video link to know more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EuLftx49r8&t=28s

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Hello guys,

The YANGDA VTOL drone is demonstrating a feature like this in the video: the flight platform like a boat or a car will move after the VTOL takes off to carry out a mission. When the mission is over, the VTOL can fly back to the platform and land there, even though the platform is already far away from the original drone take-off position. The whole process will be totally in autonomy.

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Drones are eyes in the sky for firefighters. They can serve as an essential firefighting tool for people in the fire services, especially in and around urban centers, where a deadly inferno might occur in a highrise building. 

Drone for fire fighting can equip fire officials with the latest technology, and add complementary capabilities to the existing resources such as fire trucks, ladders, specialized suits, etc. Firefighters can now acquire aerial information in a quick, cost-effective manner. 

In 2016, a tragic fire broke out in a warehouse in Oakland, California. The warehouse had been converted into a living space called Ghost Ship. The fire, which claimed the lives of 36 people, is one of the deadliest in the history of Oakland. Drones, equipped with a thermal camera, were used by firefighters to identify hotspots and search the unsafe-building after the fire was extinguished.

The effectiveness of drones is rapidly catching on, as agencies around the world begin to adopt this technology. In the US, more than 900 state and local agencies related to the emergency services are using drones one way or another; out of them, approximately, 186 is believed to be related to fire and emergency medical services.

Can Drones (UAVs) Put Out a Fire?

This is a common question that people often ask. A short answer is No, drones are more useful in acquiring situational awareness about the fire and its surroundings. Firefighters can use this information to control the fire and ultimately put it off. However, there are a few companies that are equipping drones with water hoses or fire extinguishing materials.

How Are Drones Used During Firefighting?

How Are Drones Used During FirefightingSituational awareness: In a typical scenario where a fire has broken out in a building, firefighters arrive at the spot and begin their operation with limited information about the extent of the fire and damage it has caused to the structure. 

Instead, with a fleet of drones, firefighters can begin with an aerial assessment of the scene and know the extent of the fire before starting their rescue operation.

Reach difficult places: Drones are efficient in going to tight spaces since they are nimble and agile, and deploying them first avoidings putting humans in unsafe situations.

Thermal assessment: In a firefighting situation,  firefighters work against the clock to save the lives and integrity of the structure. That is why it is important to direct their efforts towards the source of a fire.  Drones equipped with a thermal camera can assist firefighters to identify hotspots inside a blazing structure. Accordingly, firefighters can direct their efforts to bring the situation under control. 

Search and rescue:  Firefighters are actively involved in search and rescue missions. A thermal camera drone can do the job of 100 people by scanning a large area and identifying people in distress. During a natural calamity like an earthquake, thermal camera drones can fly over fallen structures and identify trapped individuals, and even identify dangerous leakages.

What Kind of Drones and Payloads are Commonly Used During Firefighting?

Drones come in all shapes and sizes, but not all of them are suitable for firefighting operations. The more suitable ones are off-the-shelf drones from the likes of DJI and custom drones based on open source stacks mainly PX4 and Ardupilot. Here are some of the drones that are considered fit for such kind of tasks:

Drones are not usable without the appropriate payloads. For firefighting purposes, these are some common payloads that are used:

  • Zenmuse XT2 (a thermal camera for DJI drones) 
  • Zenmuse Z30 (a normal camera with 30x zoom for DJI drones)
  • Zenmuse H20 (A hybrid camera that combines a wide-angle camera, 23x optical zoom camera, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder for DJI drones)

How FlytNow Can Make Drone Operations a Lot Smarter for the Firefighters

Traditional Challenges in Using Drones for Firefighting

The conventional way of using drones, during firefighting, is a pilot controlling a drone using the remote controller (RC). Here, the pilot becomes the relay point of all the information collected by the drone. This method of using drones may be simple, but is not very effective, since multiple pilots are required to control multiple drones. On top of the human resource requirement, there are several other disadvantages, as follows:

  • It becomes difficult for a drone pilot to share the data with different agencies and ground personnel, which hinders coordination.
  • Difficult to archive flight data, which makes it problematic for the future analysis of an emergency situation.
  • Data collected from multiple drones cannot be stitched together for better situational awareness. 
  • Sharing live data becomes difficult, more so when multiple drones are involved. 
  • Drone response can’t be automated since they can’t be integrated with emergency response systems like the 911 operations centers.

How FlytNow Helps in Overcoming the Traditional Challenges

FlytNow is a fleet management system that helps public safety officials to overcome challenges in using drones for firefighting. 

FlytNow is a cloud-based application that provides a unified dashboard to control a fleet of drones. It has two versions (Business and Enterprise) that cater to two different use cases.

drones for public safetyHow Drones are Connected to the FlytNow Cloud Application

FlytNow is a hardware-agnostic cloud platform meaning it supports different kinds of drones. Users using DJI drones can use the FlytOS mobile app to connect the drones to the cloud application. 

In the case of custom drones, a single board computer loaded with the FlytOS operating system can be attached to the flight controller of the drone, to facilitate communication with the FlytNow application over a 4G/LTE/5G network.

flytcloud

FlytNow Business

FlytNow Business is a standard offering that provides out of the box features in the form of SaaS (Software as a Service). This version is useful in establishing a quick command center, locally, for a particular response to manage the drones in operation. 

Some of the unique features and benefits that it provides are as follows:

  • It provides a web-based dashboard with an integrated map to control a fleet of drones. Using this feature, a single operator can control the movement of multiple drones, thus saving cost and time.drone firefighting operation
  • The dashboard offers live telemetry and visual data from all connected drones, with dual control from both the RC and the web dashboard. This allows for coordinated drone operations where data from multiple drones can be stitched together and shared for better situational awareness. firefighters using drone
  • The Business edition has out of the box support for live video-streaming from multiple drones that can be shared with anyone using their email address.flytnow for remote firefighting operations
  • A viewer can switch between ‘normal’ view (RBG) and ‘thermal’ view (IR) if the drone is equipped with an IR sensor. In the case of DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and DJI M210 V2 Dual, the FlytNow dashboard provides the MSX view that shows the lines and edges, along with the contrast, to differentiate between regions with different temperatures.using thermal camera with drone
  • Along with MSX, FlytNow gives the option to switch between different color pallets like Rainbow, Hotspot, Gray, Isotherms, Hotmetal, and Coldspot for the M2E Dual.using drones for fire fighting
  • Thermal imaging allows firefighters to identify hot spots and see whether they are hitting the fire. In a post-fire situation,  a thermal drone can carry out an inspection of the outer facades of the building, and send the live footage using FlyNow to a structural engineer sitting hundreds of miles away for a better assessment.
  • The business version has out of the box support for DJI payloads (eg. Dual Camera, Spotlight, etc) for drones such as Mavic 2 Enterprise and the Matrice 200 series. These payloads are specially designed for emergency operations.drone payloads for fire fighting
  • Apart from DJI payloads, it supports remote control of the gimbal, on which the camera is attached, via the web dashboard. This allows a remote viewer to control the camera angle for a better visual.

FlytNow Enterprise

The Enterprise version adds customization and addons to the Business edition. This version is ideal for setting up a drone-based emergency response system with the following capabilities:

  • A system that is integrated with a dispatch system like the 911
  • Integration with a decentralized network of drone stations supported by Drone-in-a-Box hardware, which allows for automated dispatch of drones.
  • A unified dashboard that can be part of a command center, which allows for the control and management of the drones over 4G/LTE/5G. 

With respect to fire fighting, the Enterprise version offers advantages such as:

  • AI-based features like object detection to help identify people trapped under debris or lost in a forest.
  • The ability of public safety officials to maintain detailed flight-record of each and every drone flight, to comply with airspace norms. All these legal requirements and complexities are solved using FlytNow Enterprise’s native support for DroneLogbook (a flight data recording service) and Airmap (a UTM service). 
  • Support for custom maps, so that operators can adjust to the terrain over which drones are flying.

Summary

In this blog, we discussed the importance of drones for firefighting and how they can be used to save time, resources, and lives. We also touched upon the kind of drones and payloads used for fire fighting operations. Finally, we ended by showcasing the benefits that FlytNow provides by allowing the usage of drones at scale with data availability for proper coordination. 

If you (plan to) use drones for public safety, then FlytNow is the right software platform to allow you to leverage cloud technology for better management and transparency of your drone operations. You can get started with our 28 days of a free trial. You can also contact us at https://flytnow.com/contact/

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Drone-on-demand refers to a service that provides a drone solution for a specified time or perpetually to accomplish certain business objectives. Such services exist because we have reached a point where there is reliable, off-the-shelf hardware and software available to create enterprise-grade drone solutions.

Enterprises who avail such services see business value in the easy availability of aerial data at a reasonable price, which was not possible a few years ago. Apart from aerial intelligence, drone-based delivery is another segment that has seen a jump in demand in recent times.

Companies that operate drones have to abide by regulatory requirements, which include airspace norms that ensure security, safety, and privacy. While there remain challenges around technology (e.g. battery life, fail-safes), this commercial drone segment is quite lucrative; according to the market research firm, Markets-and-Markets, the drone services market is estimated to reach 63.6 billion dollars by 2025 at a CAGR of 55.9% from 2019 to 2020.

Use Cases for a Drone-on-Demand Service Provider


While these services are relatively new, and people are still discovering new ways to use them, there are immediate use cases where such services are yielding tremendous commercial benefits. Some of them are listed below.

Roof Inspection of private and commercial estates: Roof inspection is a popular application of drones because aerial inspections can do the job quickly, versus manual ones, at a lower cost. Drones also bring in a level of data sophistication in the entire inspection process. With technologies like thermal and 3D imaging, a drone combined with intelligent software can automatically detect things like water damage, insulation issues, structural damages, etc.

While a property owner/caretaker may not wish to own drones and find skilled pilots to operate them, services provided by drone-on-demand companies can be a practical and economical solution.

Aerial inspection of construction sites: Inspections are common at a construction site. But with a drone, a pilot can inspect the outer facades of such structures without the need of manpower and heavy equipment. Since operations like this require skilled pilots, specialized drones, and sophisticated software, a drone-on-demand service, customized for construction applications, can make a lot of business sense.

drone on demand for construction

Emergency Response: There are several drone solution providers that are specialized in emergency response projects. For example, a US-based company called Phirst Technologies, LLC has developed a drone-based first responder system called First iZ, using FlytBase’s technology, that integrates with the CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system which powers the 911 emergency services in Tyler, Texas, USA. This system allows emergency operators to dispatch drones from a unified dashboard to gather information on an emergency situation and pass on the information to human responders who can arrive later, better informed, and prepared.

Public Safety: Drones are extensively used in operations like search and rescue, crowd control, disaster assessment, etc. In an event, Airworks 2019, DJI had announced that drones saved the lives of 279 people. There are service providers who specialize in public safety operations.

drone on demand for public safety

Industrial inspection: Drones are an important tool in the energy and utility sectors. Drones are used for inspecting refineries and gas pipelines to detect damages such as corrosion and cracks. They are also flown over wind turbines to inspect the blades. Such activities require a fair amount of specialization in aerial navigation, which is why there are sector-focused service providers for such drone applications.

Live Video Streaming From Drones

Security and surveillance: There are numerous companies that provide turnkey, drone-based security solutions for some of the following use-cases:

  • Event surveillance
  • Crown monitoring
  • Intrusion detection
  • Border security


drone security operations

Drone delivery: The concept of using drones for last-mile delivery has been around for almost a decade. Since the technology involved is challenging, service providers in this space are highly specialized and tend to focus on a specific kind of package deliveries. For example, Zipline is a company that provides an autonomous drone solution for medical deliveries.

drone delivery operations infographics

Note: Download our comprehensive guide on how to set up a drone delivery operation using Flytnow.

How FlytNow Business/Enterprise Enables a Drone-on-Demand Service


A drone-on-demand service provider brings the hardware and software together to deliver a turnkey solution for a particular use case. FlyBase, an enterprise drone automation software company, offers FlytNow to such companies. FlytNow is a cloud-based video-streaming and fleet management solution that also provides edge-level intelligence to conduct a variety of drone operations.

How FlytNow works?


FlytNow is a cloud-based application that has a dashboard, which can be accessed from a web browser. A user can connect a drone with FlytNow either using our FlytOS mobile app or the SBC cloud connect software kit. Below is an illustration that explains the setup.

drone software

Note: we have the enterprise version that supports the integration of ground-based hardware as well.

There are two versions of FlytNow that are suitable for drone solution providers: Business and Enterprise.

FlytNow Business


The Business version is an out-of-the-box solution, with the following features:

Live video streaming from the drone to the FlytNow dashboard: Video can be streamed from multiple drones on a single screen with the ability to share them with anyone via an email. This feature is useful for commercial providers who offer services related to:

  • Remote roof inspection.
  • Construction site inspection (read our case study).
  • Surveillance.
  • Delivery.
  • Emergency and public safety.
  • Industrial inspections.


With FlytNow, a drone operator can fly a drone over a roof/construction site/inspection site and live-stream the video to stakeholders sitting hundreds of miles away. Similarly, during an emergency response or a delivery operation, live streaming can be used to gather situational information.

drone software for on demand services

Video archiving: FlytNow supports the integration with an Amazon S3 instance, which is used to store incoming video feeds. The videos are automatically stored, and the feature is useful in:

  • Surveillance.
  • All forms of inspection.
  • Emergency and public safety.


All archived videos can be accessed from the FlytNow dashboard with time and date stamps.

flytnow for drones

Thermal Camera Support: FlytNow supports streaming from a thermal camera. The feature is useful in:

  • Detecting water damage during a roof inspection.
  • Spotting structural damages during a construction site inspection.
  • Spotting leakages during refinery or pipeline inspections.
  • Intruder detection during night time.
  • Identify trapped/lost victims during search and rescue operations.


Learn how FlytNow can enhance night time surveillance.

drones for search and rescue

Map annotation: FlytNow dashboard has a built-in map that shows the real-time location of drones that are online. The map also supports adding a description in way-points. The feature can be used to record information during.

  • An inspection of a roof/building.
  • Pipeline/refinery/wind-turbine inspections, to record useful findings.
  • Surveillance.
  • Record situational information during an emergency mission.


Mission Planner: It is an advanced feature that allows an operator to define a route from point A to point B with waypoints for a drone to follow. This feature can be useful in:

  • Surveillance operations, where a drone can be made to go on a patrol on a predefined path.
  • Public safety and emergency operations, where a drone can be programmed to go to a location and monitor the situation.
  • Industrial inspections, where a drone can complete a pipeline inspection autonomously over a predefined path.
  • Defining a delivery route for drone delivery.


Support for custom drones: FlytNow supports enterprise DJI drones and custom drones based on PX4 and Ardupilot. Custom drones are required for specific tasks like delivery which requires long-range and heavy payload carrying capabilities. This means a service provider using FlytNow is not restricted to a particular drone hardware platform.

FlytNow Enterprise


The Enterprise version covers everything that the Business version has to offer, plus customized modules for large scale deployment of drones with extensive flight automation. These include:

AI-based features: FlytBase provides an operating system (FlytOS) that is installed in a single-board computer, which is fitted on a drone. This makes the drone capable of performing the following things under the Enterprise plan:

drone in a box solution

  • Precision landing: Allows the drone to land on a machine-generated tag.
  • Object detection: Allows the drone to classify ground objects using the on-board camera.
  • Obstacle avoidance: Allows the drone to navigate around obstacles automatically.
  • Custom payload integration: Allows remote operation of custom made payloads as well as payloads from DJI for Mavic 2 Enterprise.


Integration with ground-based hardware: The enterprise version comes with the option to integrate with various ground-based hardware like:

drone in a box

  • Charging pad: A platform that charges a drone when it lands on it. The Enterprise version can be easily integrated with charging pads from Skysense.
  • Drone-in-a-box hardware: A docking station that completely houses a drone and keeps it fully charged.


Integration with third-party software: The Enterprise version also supports integration with third-party applications for the following:

  • UTM Intelligence: It is required to acquire airspace information so the drone does not interfere with manned aircraft and complies with legal norms. FlytNow Enterprise has native support for Airmap.
  • Logging applications: Such applications capture the flight data for a drone. FlytNow Enterprise has native support for Dronelogbook.


Advanced flight planning: FlytNow Enterprise has features to precisely control drone flights and ensure the safety of drones around human populations. Some of those features are:

  • Advanced geofencing: Precisely defines the area of operation of a drone with the help of polygons.
  • Custom NFZ integration: It is the ability to define No-Fly-Zones for drones.
  • Advanced failsafes: It refers to the ELP (Emergency Landing Point) feature that allows a drone operator to define emergency landing points alongside a predefined route. ELPs come in handy when a drone in a BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) mission has to do an emergency landing.


The Enterprise version is ideal for service providers who are into making systems where drones can takeoff autonomously after receiving a command, automatically go to a location and perform their mission and come back safely after complete the mission. In a nutshell, it provides customization, automation, and scalability.

Summary


In this blog, we learned about drone-on-demand services and the use-cases they are relevant. We also learned about FlytNow Business and Enterprise editions, what each has to offer, and how each can enable drone service providers.

[vc_row type="in_container" full_screen_row_position="middle" column_margin="default" scene_position="center" text_color="dark" text_align="left" overlay_strength="0.3" shape_divider_position="bottom" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/1" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" overlay_strength="0.3" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_row_inner column_margin="default" text_align="left"][vc_column_inner column_padding="padding-5-percent" column_padding_position="all" background_color="#ffffff" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_shadow="medium_depth" column_border_radius="5px" top_margin="10" bottom_margin="10" column_link_target="_self" width="1/1" tablet_width_inherit="default" overlay_strength="0.3" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_custom_heading text="What's Next?" font_container="tag:h3|text_align:center" use_theme_fonts="yes" css=".vc_custom_1591346290188{padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;}"][vc_column_text]Deploy drones in 5 easy steps and leverage the power of FlytNow to create a network of drones for On-Demand-Drone services with capabilities of automation and AI.  To experience FlytNow, sign up for our free trial for 28 days using this link: https://flytnow.com/pricing/

If you are interested in partnering with us, please visit https://flytnow.com/partner/.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Object tracking demo on VTOL

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It is essential to lock and track the target that you are trying to monitor when you are conducting an aerial surveillance task through the fixed-wing plane or VTOL because your camera can quickly lose the target if it is not tracked. Luckily more and more drones are applying this feature. This video shows how we realized this through an affordable and easy to use solution. Please check this video to learn more: https://youtu.be/MrZkVPpl9nY

Anyway, please comment if you have better solutions.

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How to Improve Drone Ground Control Station

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It's a drone ground control station with video receiving and radio controlling.

The system is integrated inside a Pelican suitcase, which is shockproof, waterproof, and convenient for carrying.

Two joysticks and screen integrated. One is for camera controlling and video receiving, another for flight controlling, and mission planner.

The video system is adopted the latest COFDM technology. It can send stable video signal in a moving condition or non-line-of-sight environment.

What else can be improved for ultra long range, like 100km?

Read more…

long range drone ground control station

Ground Control Station for Drone

 

It's a drone ground control station for long range video transmission and controlling.

The system is integrated inside a Pelican suitcase for shockproof, waterproof and convenient carrying.

It's the COFDM modulation for video transmission, with stable, moving and non-line-of-sight receiving features.

Two joysticks integrated, one for camera controlling, another for flight controlling.

What else can be improved for ultra long range transmission, like 100km?

 

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Application of TFmini-S in PixHawk


TFmini-S can directly be connected with the serial port of PixHawk. TFmini-S can be used in flight controller for the purpose of altitude holding or obstacle avoidance. This document is suitable to PixHawk adopts ArduCopter V3.6.2 or higher firmware (Note: Standard output mode should be used instead of PIX mode by Benewake GUI in firmware V3.6.2 or above).

Example for connecting PixHawk:

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Figure 1 Schematic Diagram of Connecting TFmini-S with TELEM 2 Interface (Serial Port 2) of PixHawk

a) Mission Planner configuration description of TFmini-S for the purpose of altitude hold 

Connect the flight control board to Mission Planar. Attention: the installation height should be larger than non-detection zone. Select [Full Parameter List] in the left from the below bar- [CONFIG/TUNING]. Find and modify the following parameters:

SERIAL2_PROTOCOL = 9  [Rangefinder option]

SERIAL2_BAUD = 115  [Choose the current LiDAR baud rate, if haven’t been changed, the default baud rate 115200 should be selected, that is 115]

RNGFND1_TYPE = 20 [TFmini-S UART option]

RNGFND1_MIN_CM = 30 [It could be changed according to real demands and should be bigger LiDAR than non-detection zone, unit is cm]

RNGFND1_MAX_CM = 300   [It could be changed according to real demands but should be smaller than effective measure range of LiDAR, unit is cm]

RNGFND1_GNDCLEAR = 15 [expressed in cm, depending upon mounting height of the module and should be bigger LiDAR than non-detection zone]

RNGFND1_ORIENT=25 [face down]

PRX_TYPE=0

Upon setting of these parameters, click [Write Params] on the right of the software to finish.

If the error message “Bad LiDAR Health” appears, please check if the connection is correct and the power supply is normal. Also check it whether you have changed the mode from Standard mode to Pix mode while the firmware is 3.6.2 or higher if yes then the same error will encounter.

How to see the altitude value from LiDAR sensor: double click the area of the Mission Planner, look at the following picture:

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Select option sonarrange, see following picture:

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The altitude distance from the LiDAR will be displayed in Sonar Range (meters), see the following picture:

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B)Mission Planner configuration description of TFmini-S for the purpose of Obstacle Avoidance

It’s only recommended to be used in Loiter mode, the detailed setting is as follows:

Connect the flight control board to MP. Attention: distance between UAV margin and LiDAR should be larger than LiDAR non-detection zone. Select [Full Parameter List] in the left from the below bar- [CONFIG/TUNING]. Find and modify the following parameters:

AVOID_MARGIN=2 [Unit: m, set obstacle avoidance distance as required]

SERIAL2_PROTOCOL = 9 [Rangefinder option]

SERIAL2_BAUD = 115 [Choose the current LiDAR baud rate, if haven’t been changed, the default baud rate 115200 should be selected, that is 115]

RNGFND1_TYPE = 20 [TFmini-S UART option]

RNGFND1_MIN_CM = 30   [It could be changed according to real demands and should be bigger LiDAR than non-detection zone, unit is cm]

RNGFND1_MAX_CM = 300 [It could be changed according to real demands but should be smaller than effective measure range of LiDAR, unit is cm]

RNGFND1_GNDCLEAR = 15 [Unit: cm, depending upon mounting height of the module and should be bigger LiDAR than non-detection zone]

RNGFND1_ORIENT=0   [It depends on the LiDAR’s real installation direction, 0~7, 24=Up and 25=Down (total ten) are supported up to now, see detail in MP]

PRX_TYPE=4    [Rangefinder should be selected for proximity sensor in obstacle avoidance mode]

Upon setting of these parameters, click [Write Params] on the right of the software to finish.

If the error message “Bad LiDAR Health” appears, please check if the connection is correct and the power supply is normal.

How to see the target distance from the LiDAR: (distance from LiDAR in obstacle avoidance can’t be displayed in sonarrange option) press Ctrl+F button in keyboard, the following window will pop out:

12699365669?profile=RESIZE_710x

Click button Proximity, the following window will appear:

12699365296?profile=RESIZE_710x

The number in green color means the distance from LiDAR in obstacle avoidance mode(the number only refresh when this window opens, closes, zooms in or zooms out, it doesn’t mean the real time distance from LiDAR and will not be influenced in Mission Planner version under v1.3.48, the problem could be solved by updating Mission Planner)

²  Attach: If TELEM 2 port has been used, SERIAL4/5 interface could be used, the other setting are same

12699365887?profile=RESIZE_710x

Figure 2: Schematic Diagram of Connecting TFmini-S with SERIAL4/5 Interface (Serial Port 4/5) of PixHawk

 

 

Configuration Descriptions of Mission Planner:

Connect flight control board to MP, Select [Full Parameter List] in the left from the below bar [CONFIG/TUNING]. Find and modify following parameters:

SERIAL4_PROTOCOL = 9 (LiDAR)

SERIAL4_BAUD = 115

Upon setting of these parameters, the other parameters should be same as Mission Planner configuration description of TFmini-S for the purpose of Obstacle Avoidance or Altitude Holding, then click [Write Params] on the right of the software to finish.

Read more…

Microsurvey FieldGenius at 30% !


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 MicroSurvey FieldGenius has become one of the most powerful and productive data collection software within the surveying industry. It can be partnered with many GPS receivers on a number of data collectors. 

12643937258?profile=RESIZE_400xFieldGenius is the ideal software/app to go with Emlid Reach GNSS receivers for the advanced user!

 Code-free linework, smart points, and live graphics make FieldGenius the choice of organizations that value productivity.

  • Code-free linework
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  • Works on more displays/devices
  • Productivity tasks
  • Calculation tools
  • Part of the perfect workflow

 FieldGenius works with many GPS receivers and on a multitude of handheld data collectors. We believe you shouldn’t have to buy all new equipment just to upgrade one component.

 This promotion won't last long. Until quantities last.

More info here

Read more…

TFmini-S can be used with PixHawk for the purpose of obstacle avoidance.

  1. TFmini-SSettings:

Note: Frame rate should be set to 250Hz, see the details in chapter 7.4 “frame rate” and changing the communication interface.

The default communication of TFmini-S is TTL, IIC and TTL uses the same cable, so please set TFmini-S to IIC communication first, see detail commands in product manual.

We take two TFmini-S as an example in this passage and set the address 0x10 and 0x11 separately.

  1. PixHawk Connection:

See the connection details in PixHawk manual and TFmini-S manual, we take example for connecting

PixHawk flight controller:

12629947677?profile=RESIZE_710x

Figure 1: Schematic Diagram of Connecting TFmini-S to I2C Interface of PixHawk

Note:

  1. Default cable sequence of TFmini-S and PixHawk are different, please change it accordingly (SDA and SCL wires need to be interchanged). Look at the pinout of controller, pin configurations are starting from left to right:

 10961543091?profile=RESIZE_710x

  1. IIC connector should be purchased by user
  2. If TFmini-S faces down, please take care the distance between lens and ground should be larger than TFmini-S’s blind zone (10cm)
  3. If more TFmini-S need to be connected (10 LiDARs can be connected), the method is same.
  4. Power source should meet the product manual demands:5V±0.5V, larger than 140mA*number of TFmini-S
  5. Parameters settings:

Common settings:

AVOID_ENABLE= 2 [if 3 = UseFence and UseProximitySensor doesn’t work in IIC then choose 2 = UseProximitySensor]

AVOID_MARGIN=4

PRX_TYPE=4

Settings for first TFmini-S:

RNGFND1_ADDR=16 [Address of #1 TFmini-S in decimal]

RNGFND1_GNDCLEAR=15 [Unit: cm, depending upon mounting height of the module and should be larger LiDAR than non-detection zone]

RNGFND1_MAX_CM=400 [It could be changed according to real demands but should be smaller than
effective measure range of LiDAR, unit is cm] 

RNGFND1_MIN_CM=30 [It could be changed according to real demands and should be larger than
LiDAR non-detection zone, unit is cm] 

RNGFND1_ORIENT=0 [#1 TFmini-S real orientation]

RNGFND1_TYPE = 25 [TFmini-S IIC same as TFmini-Plus IIC]

 

Settings for second TFmini-S:

RNGFND2_ADDR=17 [Address of #2 TFmini-S in decimal]

RNGFND2_GNDCLEAR=15

RNGFND2_MAX_CM=400

RNGFND2_MIN_CM=30

RNGFND2_ORIENT=25 [#2 TFmini-S real orientation]

RNGFND2_TYPE=25 [TFmini-S IIC same as TFmini-Plus IIC]

Upon setting of these parameters, click [Write Params] on the right of the software to finish.

If the error message “Bad LiDAR Health” appears, please check if the connection is correct and the power supply is normal.

How to see the target distance from the LiDAR: press Ctrl+F button in keyboard, the following window will pop out:

10961543271?profile=RESIZE_710x

  

Click button Proximity, the following window will appear:

 10961543487?profile=RESIZE_710x

The number in green color means the distance from LiDAR in obstacle avoidance mode(the number only refresh when this window opens, closes, zooms in or zooms out, it doesn’t mean the real time distance from LiDAR and will not be influenced in Mission Planner version under v1.3.48, the problem could be solved by updating Mission Planner

Read more…

Since the highly anticipated launch of DJI Dock 2 and the advancements it brings, it has captured the attention of enterprise users, DSPs, and system integrators.


Its compact size, easy portability, and improved efficiency, combined with the upgraded abilities of supported drones like the DJI Matrice 3D and Matrice 3TD, are expected to enhance applications like mapping and surveying, among other applications.

While multiple third-party applications and products support the DJI Dock 2, FlytBase stands out by providing a comprehensive platform that leverages its potential and makes it enterprise-ready. In this blog, we will learn how FlytBase now helps you deploy fully automated, secure docked drone operations for enterprise applications with DJI Dock 2.

Top 5 reasons to choose FlytBase for your DJI Dock 2 operations

FlytBase seamlessly integrates with DJI Dock 2, providing an enterprise-grade drone autonomy software solution that includes workflow integration, flight automation, fleet management, flight safety measures, and robust data security features for efficient drone operations. Following are some of the reasons why you should choose

 

1. FlinksFlinks, short for FlytBase Links, are connectors that help integrate the FlytBase platform with a wide range of external software apps and hardware devices. Users can fully automate enterprise drone workflows with pre-built Flinks or create custom ones with FlytBase APIs and SDKs.

2. Flight safety and compliance: FlytBase ensures comprehensive drone safety with a range of features, including custom pre-flight checklists, collision avoidance, and configurable failsafes. Users can also create geofences and 2D No Fly Zones (NFZ) to maintain secure operations. Additionally, FlytBase alerts users to potential airspace threats and offers mitigation suggestions to help maintain a safe airspace.

3. Robust data security: With multiple layers of protection that include secure data transfer, encryption, network configuration, application-level controls, and flexible deployment options, the FlytBase platform is designed with security in mind. We also use tools to help us enforce compliance with our internal security policies.

4. Hardware agnostic platform: You can seamlessly integrate and deploy FlytBase with multiple docking stations, drones, and third-party payloads while being able to manage the fleets with a centralized dashboard.

5. Enterprise-grade support: FlytBase provides enterprise-grade support via calls, emails, and chat, with the option to upgrade to custom SLAs. This helps dedicated business and technical account managers enhance customer and partner success, as well as provide on-ground support for extensive or critical deployments.

In addition to numerous other features, FlytBase enhances your DJI Dock 2 operations, making them enterprise-grade and exceptionally efficient. Now, let's take a look at FlytBase's approach to data security and its flexible deployment options for ensuring robust data protection.

Protect your drone data with FlytBase Shield 

Large enterprises, government entities, and organizations managing critical operations face a major challenge in keeping their data safe and secure. Why is this so crucial? 

Well, they handle vast amounts of sensitive information like proprietary business data, classified government information, and critical infrastructure. The drones capture this data, and any breach could lead to significant consequences, such as financial losses, damaged reputations, or even threats to public safety. 

This is where FlytBase Shield comes into the picture to offer a comprehensive suite of security services designed to safeguard drone docks and data with multi-layer protection. 

With our robust encryption methods, like AES-256, you can ensure that your sensitive data is protected at rest and in transit. Additionally, we take security measures for our user accounts with the help of:

  • User account security with OAuth 2.0, Single Sign-on (SSO)
  • Integration with Google and Microsoft accounts
  • Adherence to industry cybersecurity standards such as SOC2 Type II, ISO 27001, GDPR, CIS, and NIST

This gives our customers peace of mind that their data and operations are safe.

FlytBase provides a range of deployment options for the DJI Dock 2, including the choice to operate within a separately managed AWS environment, offering an additional layer of security and privacy by being physically isolated from our multi-tenant cloud infrastructure.

  • Cloud: FlytBase Cloud provides cost-effective access with enterprise-level security. It complies with SOC 2 Type II, ISO 27001, and GDPR standards, and enables integration with private cloud storage.
  • In-country Cloud: Deploy FlytBase in your own country’s cloud to ensure compliance with data residency norms, data security, & the ability for customers to integrate with their preferred applications.
  • On-premise: Self-host FlytBase on a private server for highly secure & confidential projects. Meet cyber security compliance requirements and have complete control over your drone data.
  • Air-Gapped: FlytBase Air-Gapped operates offline, isolated from external networks, ensuring data security. Ideal for sensitive applications that require maximum protection.

Having explored FlytBase's data security measures, let's now learn about BVLOS operations, where FlytBase equips your drone operations with advanced capabilities for safe and efficient Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights.

How FlytBase makes your drone operations BVLOS ready

Flying Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is a significant milestone for various industries. With FlytBase and DJI Dock 2, your drone operations can seamlessly transition to BVLOS operations, with essential features and capabilities that ensure safe and efficient flight beyond visual range.

  • Advanced Flight Planning Routines: FlytBase offers advanced flight planning routines tailored for BVLOS operations. Dynamic path planning, corridor fly zones, No Fly Zones (NFZ), Smart Return-to-Home (RTH), and customized flight workflows ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and efficient navigation in complex airspace.
  • Geofencing and No Fly Zones: FlytBase enables users to create Geofences and No Fly Zones, ensuring compliance with local regulations and safety protocols. These virtual boundaries restrict drone flight in designated areas, minimizing the risk of unauthorized operations and ensuring airspace integrity.
  • Flight Logs: FlytBase provides detailed flight logs that offer a comprehensive overview of each mission. Operators can review vital information such as flight path, altitude, speed, device status, and media captured during the mission. These flight logs enhance operational transparency, facilitate post-flight analysis, and support regulatory compliance efforts.
  • BVLOS Documentation Templates: FlytBase simplifies obtaining waivers and approvals for BVLOS operations with pre-built documentation templates. These templates streamline the application process, facilitating regulatory compliance and expediting approval for extended drone flights.
  • Third-party integrations for BVLOS flight safety: FlytBase integrates with third-party detect and avoid systems, Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) services, external ADS-B, and parachute recovery systems using Flinks. These integrations enhance safety by providing real-time alerts on intrusions, conflicts with nearby aircraft, and automatic parachute deployment in case of system failure.

    Find out which BVLOS enablers have partnered with FlytBase to make flights safer. visit: https://www.flytbase.com/flinks

After learning about multiple aspects essential for conducting safe, secure, and reliable autonomous drone flights, let's dive deeper into the applications of the DJI Dock 2 with FlytBase across diverse industries.

Automating drone operations across industries 

Applications like mapping and surveying are becoming more efficient and advanced, thanks to the DJI Dock 2, powered by FlytBase. The highly efficient cameras of the Matrice 3D/3TD drones make mapping and surveying more accessible and cost-effective than ever before. FlytBase simplifies creating grids over an area, especially for mapping and surveying. Users can precisely control parameters like Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) and overlap, ensuring accurate data collection. 

Additionally, FlytBase's Flinks enable seamless integration of third-party apps and systems, further enhancing the versatility and capabilities of the DJI Dock 2 for various applications beyond mapping and surveying.

  1. Public Safety: Equipped with autonomous drones, first responders gain rapid situational awareness during emergencies, aiding in law enforcement and Search and Rescue (SAR) missions. With remote control and management features, operators can efficiently oversee operations from remote or mobile command centers, ensuring swift and coordinated responses to public emergencies.
  1. Construction: FlytBase and DJI Dock 2 can be used as a monitoring system that helps automate data collection, enabling real-time tracking of construction progress. Conducting mapping and site analysis becomes effortless, facilitating effective planning, design, and asset inventory management.
  2. Mining: Deploying drone fleets for routine missions, such as equipment inspections and progress reporting, becomes easier. Real-time video data capture helps monitor and survey, ensuring efficient stockpile management to prevent mine hazards. 
  1. Security and Surveillance: Deploying drones for aerial monitoring and security patrols becomes seamless and efficient with the DJI Dock 2. In addition, by automating routine missions and scheduling patrols, with FlytBase, operators can ensure 24x7 monitoring of properties, enhance security systems, and easily safeguard assets

What lies ahead?

FlytBase with DJI Dock 2 enables a wide range of applications in sectors like public safety, mining, construction, and more while prioritizing data security with a robust system. In addition to this, the seamless integration with third-party systems via Flinks enhances the capability to automate, streamline, and ensure secure drone operations, offering an enterprise-grade experience.

Read more…

Recognizing the growing importance of data safety and customization, Danish drone company Upteko has entered the market with its flagship product, the LARK drone.

Originally conceived for windmill inspection, the LARK drone has been developed to set a new standard for data security and versatility, and has quickly garnered attention for its data safety features and adaptability.

The LARK drone features robust data encryption mechanisms and a highly customizable design; engineered to meet the unique specifications of each customer, ensuring optimal performance and data safety in any scenario. Whether it’s precision agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, or environmental surveys, Upteko empowers its clients to tailor the LARK drone to their specific needs, without compromising on data security.

Upteko-Introduces-the-LARK-Data-Safe-Drone-1024x605.jpeg

Setting new standards for data security & versatility

In the ever-evolving landscape of drone technology, the demand for data safety and customization has become paramount. As regulatory bodies tighten their grip on privacy and security measures, companies are facing unprecedented challenges in ensuring the integrity and safety of the data collected by their drones.

In this shifting paradigm, Upteko offers cutting-edge solutions that prioritize data security and customization.

Upteko-Pioneers-Data-Safe-Drones-for-a-Changing-Industry--994x1024.jpeg

The drone industry is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by advancements in technology and an increasing need for data-driven insights across various sectors. From agriculture to infrastructure inspection, drones have become indispensable tools, providing real-time data and actionable insights like never before. However, with this proliferation of drone usage comes pressing concerns over data privacy and security.

Regulators worldwide are stepping up efforts to enforce stringent guidelines to protect sensitive information collected by drones. From stringent data encryption protocols to strict limitations on data storage and transmission, compliance with these regulations has become a top priority for companies operating in the drone industry. Failure to adhere to these standards not only poses legal risks, but can also undermine public trust in drone technology.

The versatility of the LARK drone has been a game-changer for businesses seeking reliable and secure drone solutions. With its advanced payload options and modular design, the LARK drone can seamlessly adapt to evolving industry requirements, providing unparalleled flexibility and scalability.

Whether it’s integrating specialized sensors for precise data collection or implementing custom software solutions for enhanced analytics, Upteko offers a comprehensive suite of services to meet the most demanding operational needs.

Read more here: Upteko

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TFmini-S can directly be connected with the serial port of PixHawk. TFmini-S can be used in flight controller for the purpose of altitude holding or obstacle avoidance. This document is suitable to PixHawk adopts ArduCopter V3.6.2 or higher…
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"Greetings Creatives!

This week's new free music track is on my Sci-Fi 13 page:

"DEATH CANYON"
https://soundimage.org/sci-fi-13/

CUSTOM MUSIC

Need some custom music for your game, video or something else? I'd love to help out! You can contact me…"
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I mean I have no idea in this area... but an opportunistic topic !

Right now I am tinkering with the idea of Open Source Harrdware Fixed Wing Drone for GIS…"
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When it comes to renting a drone, the cost can vary depending on several factors:Drone Rental Cost Depends  on the Drone ModelLonger Drone Rental Duration May Get You a DiscountDepending on Your LocationDrone Rental Insurance
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