Last Monday PrecisionHawk and the FAA met in North Carolina to see if “drones can learn to avoid obstacles.” While that was definitely part of the goal, there is a secondary more valuable (at least in my opinion) goal part of the goal – preventing drones from certain behaviors such as flying beyond line of sight and from accessing forbidden areas such as an airport.
The technology in play here is PrecisionHawk’s LATAS or “Low Altitude Tracking and Avoidance System.” This system uses nearby cell towers and can function even without the help of GPS. This is very important because we’ve already seen GPS used by drones remotely hacked.
Considering all of the goals, I was a little surprised by their testing methodology.
Specifically, the tests focus on first-person-vision flights, where a pilot steers the drone beyond their line of sight using video streamed from the drone itself to either a screen or headset. The FAA’s draft drone rules prohibit flights beyond line of sight, which limits drone use to where a pilot can be. The goal is to keep drones from crashing into other objects. The rules also in effect constrain how far drones can fly. So on Monday, the FAA will work with Precision Hawk drones to see if technology that avoids obstacles can allow an alternative solution.
PrecisionHawk provides our clients with user-friendly tools that allow them to efficiently and consistently collect and process high quality data. We seek to become the top of the data pipeline and work coherently with existing workflows, instead of forcing users to start new processes from the ground up.
We also aim to provide our customers with the exceptional customer service that they deserve. In our eyes, if our clients aren’t flying, they aren’t justifying their purchases. We especially pride ourselves on fast-turnaround and resolving issues head-on as they arise.
Finally, we believe that a positive work environment provides the foundation for happy and driven employees. This directly equates to exceptional product solutions and happy customers.