Intel’s Latest UAS Venture: The Shooting Star Drone

“Can we pretend that [drones] in the night sky are like shooting stars?”

Intel, gaining a stronger foothold in the commercial drone sector more and more every day, has announced a quadcopter designed specifically to be used in a fleet for entertainment light shows.

According to a press release from the company, the trademarked Intel Shooting Star drone weighs in at 280 grams – less than the weight of a volleyball – and measures 384 x 384 x 93 millimeters. The unmanned aircraft system (UAS) also features a soft frame made of flexible plastic and foam, as well as caged propellers.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 280 grams, the UAS offers a flight time of up to 20 minutes and a maximum range of 1.5 kilometers. It can also withstand wind speeds of 10 m/s and can fly in light rain, the company says.

The Intel Shooting Star drone also features LED lights that Intel says can create more than 4 billion color combinations. As for designing light shows, animators will be able to create a show within days, rather than weeks or months, thanks to Intel’s proprietary algorithms that can autonomously create a formula for a show.

Intel says it may be able to control hundreds of the drones from one computer. In addition, the company’s software creates a complete flight check before a show.

According to a blog from Intel’s Anil Nanduri, the company has already secured a Part 107 waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration to “fly these drones as a fleet with one pilot at night.”

“We are looking forward to using this new fleet of Intel Shooting Star drones publicly soon,” Nanduri writes.

Last week, Intel acquired UAS software company MAVinci. In October, the tech giant came out with its own Intel-branded drone, the Intel Falcon 8+, an octocopter based on software from Ascending Technologies, which Intel acquired earlier this year.

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