Brazil approves SenseFly eBee X for BVLOS operations

July 26, 2021  - By

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The eBee X. (Photo: senseFly)

The eBee X. (Photo: senseFly)

The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) of Brazil has approved beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights using SenseFly‘s flagship eBee X fixed-wing drone.

ANAC’s decision means that the senseFly eBee X is officially approved for use in future BVLOS missions carried out by Brazilian drone operators. The drone received approval by demonstrating the safety requirements of the ANAC RBAC-E 94 Regulation for Unmanned Aircraft, through detailed engineering analyses and in-depth flight testing. Sensefly worked in collaboration with drone engineering and consulting specialists AL Drones and geotechnology company Santiago & Cintra.

Following the certification, senseFly eBee X operators in Brazil now only require a CAER (Special Airworthiness Certificate for RPA) waiver for the aircraft with Santiago & Cintra before flying BVLOS operations.

“The commercial drone industry in Brazil has been growing at a phenomenal rate. and we’re excited that the senseFly eBee X is at the forefront of these regulatory developments,” said Pierre-Alain Marchand, regulatory compliance manager, senseFly. “BVLOS is becoming an important tool for operators as they start to explore the potential of more advanced drone operations, and we’re pleased that our technology continues to help define frameworks and legislation in the country. Historic approvals passed in recent years has shown us that Brazil is one of the countries to watch for drone commercialization, so continue to watch this space!”

The authorization comes following approval of senseFly’s proprietary drone technology in 2017, where the use of drones for civil applications in Brazil were legislated as part of the RBAC-E94 regulation. SenseFly drones became the first and only in the country permitted to fly 400 feet in height with a 5 kilometer radius from a licensed pilot or observer, in contrast to previous VLOS operations that restricted use of drones to a 500-meter radius.

“The authorization of senseFly’s eBee X for BVLOS operations is another step towards commercialization of the sector,” said André Arruda, co-founder of AL Drones. “After years of collective hard work and effort from all parties, this certification presents a real opportunity for operators in the future to expand their mapping operations and achieve a robust return-on-investment. We look forward to seeing what this means for BVLOS operations in Brazil in the coming years.”

SenseFly’s eBee X fixed-wing drone is designed to suit a wide range of mapping jobs. At 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs.), eBee X is a lightweight, portable solution that is easy for a single person to operate. With an Endurance Extension option enabling a flight time of up to 90 minutes and single-flight coverage of up to 500 ha at 122 m (1,236 A at 400 ft.), the eBee X drone that offers users the high precision of on-demand RTK/PPK for achieving absolute accuracy down to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) without ground control points. This capability makes the eBee X suitable for BVLOS operations such as long corridor mapping missions for utility companies, expansive crop scouting in agriculture and by enterprise customers who desire a robust and professional drone fleet.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.