The Line of Sight Pathfinder has one main objective, which is to enable drone service providers to remotely operate complex drone missions on such sites from a central control room. This approach will reduce risk and increase productivity for businesses and benefit the public in emergency situations. The project will tackle the technical and regulatory challenges associated with these ‘Local BVLOS’ operations by deploying the sees.ai system on several live industrial sites and in an emergency service situation. The project will:
- Develop a new flying method that teams highly automated drones with a remote pilot. This approach combines the best of human and machine and is more robust, cost-efficient and scalable than current state of the art (VLOS flights). Success will unlock value for customers in heavy industries such as construction, infrastructure and oil & gas – as well as the emergency services.
- Design and build a system suitable for testing in controlled environments (including urban and industrial). This work will take place across software and hardware, including but not limited to: increasing mapping and positioning, increasing the drone’s level of automation, improving the comms protocol and building a system that can be used to test our approach.
- Test a range of operations, including routine missions such as repeated inspections of large infrastructure assets as well as more complex ad-hoc operations such as responding to emergency situations or inspection operations on-the-fly. Tests will take place with three end-customers: Skanska, Atkins and Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service. These demonstrations will be supported by NATS, Vodafone, Foster + Partners and SLAMcore.