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BVLOS UAVs tested in flight

July 27, 2017  - By

A Delair drone inspects powerlines in France.

NASA’s UTM. On May 25, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-designated Nevada UAS Test Site and its NASA partners flew five different unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to test NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM).

The flights demonstrated multiple operational scenarios, including parachute-initiated emergency supply deliveries and aerial survey operations.

The UAVs were flown beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight (BVLOS) using strategically placed visual observers and sophisticated command and control, communication and detect-and-avoid technologies.

The test is part of a three-week national campaign, which NASA is leading in close collaboration with the FAA and industry partners on a more complex version of its UTM technologies at six different UAS Test Sites around the nation.

Demonstration in France. In France, Delair-Tech flew a UAV for 30 miles, simulating powerline inspection. Delair used a regular, commercial 3G cellphone network to control the drone for the test — an innovative demonstration that long-distance drone operations can be safe and simple to achieve.

Canadian Deliveries. Drone Delivery Canada Corp. (DDC) hit a pivotal milestone toward commercializing its drone logistics platform after achieving BVLOS in test flights. Systems tested include DDC’s FLYTE management system, avoidance technology and communications platform.

During flights in Alberta, DDC’s Mission Control Centre in Toronto, 2,500 kilometers away, successfully monitored and record telemetry in real time. DDC could become the first drone logistics-compliant operator approved by Transport Canada.

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