Airware Releases New OS for Commercial Drones and GE Signs On

By Ken Briodagh April 17, 2015

Airware on April 16 released its Aerial Information Platform (AIP), which is an operating system for commercial drones. It combines controllers for hardware, software, and cloud services to make it possible for enterprises to safely deploy drones while staying compliant with regulatory and insurance requirements.

A well-executed drone OS is critical for an enterprise implementation and the Airware AIP is designed to take care of the heavy lifting. It will handle capture and analysis of aerial data for a wide variety of commercial applications, including infrastructure inspection, land management, public safety, environmental monitoring, surveying and mapping, precision agriculture, search and rescue and wildlife conservation.

“Commercial drones will change the way we do our jobs, improve our decision-making, and save lives,” said Jonathan Downey, CEO, Airware. “We designed the AIP for enterprise needs and created the most reliable, insurable, and extensible solution for operating commercial drones at scale. We look forward to helping customers capture aerial data and make it more useful and actionable than ever before.”

The drone industry is badly in need of standardization and this OS could be an important first step in that direction. In fact, GE agrees and will become the OS’s first large enterprise user. Airware will work with GE on a variety of commercial drone applications for their customers. GE Ventures made an investment in Airware in November.

“We are currently developing drone solutions for our customers,” said Alex Tepper, managing director, GE Ventures. “Drones have the ability to reduce downtime, increase safety, and provide more reliable operations for our customers and we believe that Airware is going to be a key partner in helping us deliver these solutions.”

Airware’s platform has also been in use by a number of drone manufacturers and service providers from around the world as part of Airware’s beta program, including Delta Drone (France), Altavian (Florida), Allied Drones (California), and Drone America (Nevada).

Immediately available will be the first three components of the platform:

Today Airware is releasing the first three components of its Aerial Information Platform – Flight Core, which includes on-aircraft hardware and software enabling autonomous flight; Ground Control Station Software, for aircraft flight planning, control, and monitoring; and Configuration Manager, which allows users to manipulate custom settings. In the next few months, the company will add Airware Cloud, a suite of cloud features that will give operators the ability to plan and manage flight operations at greater scale, manage internal and external approvals, meet insurance, corporate, and government compliance requirements, analyze sensor data, and share information across their organization.

Drone on, you crazy diamonds. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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