PrecisionHawk’s LATAS Platform Makes Drone Operators Aware of Surroundings

Posted by Betsy Lillian on September 09, 2016 No Comments

PrecisionHawk Inc. has announced the launch of its low-altitude traffic and airspace safety platform (LATAS), which links drones, 3D ground data and live manned aircraft data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) into a single system that tells a drone operator when and where it’s safe to fly.

The launch comes shortly after PrecisionHawk signed a five-year deal with Harris Corp., a systems integrator for the FAA. By integrating Harris’ manned aircraft data, LATAS can provide traffic alerts to drone operators without any delay and build tools for drones and manned aircraft to see each other’s real-time location.

PrecisionHawk says it first proved this concept under the FAA Pathfinder program and then with the Department of Homeland Security. Last week, it became the first company approved for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) commercial drone flights under a Part 107 waiver.

The free LATAS web dashboard acts as a digital observer for the drone operator. Equipped with airspace data maps, LATAS aims to make operators as knowledgeable as possible about the environment around them during a flight. Users submit a flight plan to see no-fly zones and receive real-time notifications of hazards on the ground or in the air.

“We have done significant testing to measure how LATAS, equipped with Harris’ real-time air traffic data, can enhance the safety of a drone pilot when flying BVLOS,” says Tyler Collins, vice president of airspace at PrecisionHawk. “As thousands of new operators join the drone space under Part 107, our goal is to provide an easy-to-use and reliable safety tool that gives drone operators a complete picture of their surroundings and how those surroundings are changing in real time.”

Harris’ airspace data is available through the LATAS application programming interface to drone manufacturers and app developers, and drone operators can sign up to use the LATAS dashboard for free.

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