IN-FLIGHT Data Conducts Advanced Drone Operations Above Densely Populated Areas


People often think of drones as being used to capture the next trendy video with impressive aerial shots. The reality is that drone technology saw great advancements in recent years. Drones are utilized today for things such as power line inspection, search and rescue, retail delivery and the delivery of medical supplies to Ukrainians amidst the Russian invasion.

High-performance drone aircraft are also capable of navigating and communicating in the air above population centers. Successfully mapping the urban network fabric in 3D will help gain an understanding and better assessment of how future aircraft and infrastructure can take advantage of these new high-performance networks, delivering future innovation to cities and their citizens.

Drone operator IN-FLIGHT Data, with remote traffic management software leader AirMatrix, conducted a “SAIL 4” urban drone operation in the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “SAIL” refers to the combined complexity of a drone mission, with one being the lowest and six being the highest.

IN-FLIGHT Data tested, trained and prepared to conduct advanced aerial surveys through the city of Calgary’s Living Labs Program since March. In July and August, the flight missions covered an operational area of about 9,000 hectares (about 35 square miles) inside the city of Calgary with a population of about 1.2 million people.

The flight crew worked with advanced operations certified drones and advanced radar and aerial surveillance technologies to see all Calgary air traffic users for more than 30 km in all directions.

The purpose of the aerial intelligence gathering was to measure and assess the quality and performance of the communications network fabric above an urban center including geolocation, cellular and radio. This understanding of the network performance is required to support future advancements in aviation.

These advancements include technical achievements like medical deliveries. This mapping also supports the development and growth of advanced aerial mobility, including flying taxi services in urban environments.

The operation, completed while beyond the line of sight of the pilot and over urban neighborhood populations, is an example of how drones help support technological innovation in cities.

Edited by Erik Linask
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IoTevolutionworld Editor

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