Exciting news! DroneMatrix and Mediaan recently showcased Rijkswaterstaat how a BVLOS-operated drone automatically flew to its destination without being continuously visible. It had a successful first long-distance flight capturing real-time images (with a 360 view) of a sailing ship on the Waal river. All that, without the need of observers or the pilot moving around to keep an eye on the drone!
What is BVLOS?
Before we go into detail about this project, let’s first find out what BVLOS means and the benefits it provides. Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is a term related to the operation of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) at distances outside the normal visible range of the pilot. It continues to show its full potentials, especially within the drone industry. Not a surprise, given its numerous benefits:
- It allows you to collect more data in fewer deployments.
- It is a cost-effective solution compared to several traditional methods, such as crewed helicopters and airplanes.
- It gives you the possibility to access hazardous or dangerous environments and many more.
Rijkswaterstaat aims to use autonomous drones to keep an eye on the Waal river in the future. The idea is to have drones that must be capable of being used by multiple emergency services.
„We work with the police, fire department, NVWA, and ILT aerosensing. When you think of fire department you mostly associate it with extinguishing fires, but for us it’s mainly incidents on the water such as cargo falling off.“ – Ariea Vermeulen of Rijkswaterstaat
Various sprints are organized, giving participating companies the opportunity to showcase new developments they have made.
DroneMatrix & Mediaan
During the previous sprint, the awaited moment finally came! DroneMatrix demonstrated how a BVLOS-operated drone automatically flew to its destination without being continuously visible. It has a successful first long-distance flight capturing real-time images (with a 360 view) of a sailing ship on the Waal river! DroneMatrix is a drone-experts company specialized in various accommodate services for several security & safety and government instances, locally and internationally. Using artificial intelligence technology, Mediaan assists DroneMatrix to provide the best possible solution.
The project’s funding still needs to be finalized, and the best drone has yet to be selected. It is going to be a while before Rijkswaterstaat deploys autonomous drones. They want to make sure that these drones pass the safety standards and policies. The next sprint session is scheduled for July 13, 2021. We’re excited about the next progress!