FlightOps Ltd., a multi-drone operating system, recently partnered with drone operator FlyTech IL to deploy the world’s first multiple drone operations in an urban area.
As part of the operational trial on behalf of the Israeli Police, drone missions were carried out in Ramla and Lod, two suburbs of Tel Aviv with a combined population of approximately 154,000 residents. Two drones served as first responders to incidents, day and night, and were managed by FlyTech’s Yahav Preiss, Israel’s first commercial drone pilot licensed to operate beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS).
When the police hotline received a call of a reported incident, the address was provided to the drone pilot in the command and control center. The pilot plugged the information into the FlightOps system and monitored the autonomous drone flight. The drone then flew to the address of the incident and transmitted the visual back to the police at the command center before the drone was ordered to return to headquarters and end the mission.
“The drones are fitted with three sim cards from three different mobile network operators and the drones are controlled via LTE network secure links,” Preiss says. “In the event of an incident, the FlightOps multi-drone operating system alerts the drone and it takes off, flying a geo-fenced, autonomous route to the scene, transmitting images of the event to the police control center. Eventually, if the trials are successful, the images will also be transmitted to police vehicles.”
One of the most difficult elements of the trial was to work with the regulator, the Israeli Air Force and the Tel Aviv International Airport on a detailed airspace assessment to ensure the drones can fly safely in a shared airspace below the tops of buildings – which required reducing minimum separation distances between aircraft to 500 ft and within 100m of the No Fly Zone perimeter.
This operation followed a pre-trial trial last October when a similar operation was carried out in Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut, a city with approximately 93,000 residents. The trial was part of the Israeli National Drone Initiative (INDI), pioneered by Ayalon Highways, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Innovation Authority and the Smart Transportation Administration.
FlightOps CEO Shay Levy says, “The missions in Ramla and Lod built upon the Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut operation and reaffirmed the value of multiple autonomous drones flying BVLOS in urban airspace. We are delighted that our technology enables security and rescue forces to reach any point in real time. These missions save time, and with more operations carried out, will save lives.”
FlightOps provides scalable flight automation as infrastructure software that enables fully automated BVLOS air mobility. The FlightOps operating system works by installing software onto a drone of any type, which converts the drone into an autonomous robot.
With FlightOps technology, drone pilot knowledge is digitally transformed into algorithms and artificial intelligence, replacing human pilots, and enabling massive growth in simultaneous missions. Using the FlightOps OS reduces costs and enables complex missions to be performed at longer distances while maintaining high levels of safety and regulatory compliance.