PrecisionHawk Collaboration Furthers Ecosystem for Safe Drone Integration

PrecisionHawk, Verizon, Harris and DigitalGlobe Inc. have completed initial testing of high-performance airspace services for consumer and enterprise drones.

The companies have incorporated their technologies to serve as a pathway for safe drone integration in national airspace: Verizon’s LTE network, Harris’ Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and aircraft surveillance network, DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data (GBD) platform, and PrecisionHawk’s LATAS (Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety) platform.

Assessment of this ecosystem is currently taking place through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Pathfinder program and NASA’s unmanned aircraft system (UAS) traffic management project.

Operating over LTE and through satellites, the LATAS platform connects airspace safety technologies such as detect and avoid, dynamic geofencing and aircraft tracking to provide safety as a service for the rapidly growing drone market, explains PrecisionHawk. By using the existing infrastructure of Verizon cell towers, LATAS is scalable for drones operating throughout the U.S.

The LATAS system will tap into DigitalGlobe’s GBD platform so that drones can actively identify and avoid obstructions such as buildings, cables or tree lines. As a global provider of high-resolution earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions, DigitalGlobe brings geospatial content and analytic capabilities for the identification of terrain and ground obstacles.

Harris’ nationwide ADS-B ground station deployment serves as the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen surveillance initiative to fundamentally improve the quality, accuracy and reliability of flight tracking data throughout national airspace. The Harris data is a synthesis of all FAA-system-derived aircraft surveillance data available in national airspace.

“With this collaboration, the innovation of the tech community is addressing the timely need for safety services to accelerate drone integration,” explains Tyler Collins, director of LATAS at PrecisionHawk. “Verizon, Harris and DigitalGlobe bring technology components, expertise and credibility that are critical to the success of this ecosystem.”


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