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Feb 28, 2019 | News

A Week Filled with Drone Partnerships

The trend of commercial drone company partnerships doesn’t show signs of stopping as the industry continues to mature. This week three noteworthy partnerships were announced, two related to testing and trials, and one to align services for government clients.

DroneUp and Vintun

Pilot matching service provider DroneUp LLC has partnered with Vintun LLC to provide drone services for the US Government. Vintun has a history of providing information services to government agencies including contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense and other civil agencies. Building upon DroneUp’s extensive pilot network Vintun has developed VDaaS, Vintun Drone-as-a-Service, which will enable Vintun clients to access and deploy pilots with the required skill level and background for a given operation. Both companies believe the partnership will allow them to provide the high level of quality required by Federal agencies and civil servants.

Greg Early, President of Vintun adds, “VDaaS enables the customer to reduce the inspection cycle, get detailed imagery or other sensor data, enhance worker safety and get accurate data regardless of weather conditions. We are happy to partner with DroneUp on providing these new services to our customers.”

Unifly and State of Nevada UAS Test Site

A few months after the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) was announced, the FAA and NASA announced the UTM Pilot Program (UPP) with the goals of developing, demonstrating, and providing enterprise services that will support the implementation of initial UAS Traffic Management (UTM) operations. The program planned to marry NASA’s research, industry partnerships, and the FAA’s airspace knowledge to aid in the development of rules and standards for air traffic management of drones within the National Airspace System (NAS).

A year later, the Nevada UAS Test Site and a consortium of partners, Unifly will begin demonstrations of an integrated UTM ecosystem with participants including UAS operators, UAS Service Suppliers, and the FAA. Under the system, participants will be sharing mission information, aircraft and drone identifiers, and restrictions.

“The UTM Pilot Program is an important milestone for the operational deployment of UTM services in the near future and we are glad to partner once again with the FAA to achieve this objective. Unifly is already actively working together with the Nevada UAS Test Site and our teammates to leverage our unique expertise in large-scale deployment of UTM systems.”, said Laurent Huenaerts, VP & General Manager of Unifly Inc.

Alpha Unmanned Systems and Inmarsat

Spanish UAV manufacturer Alpha Unmanned Systems will be participating in Inmarsat’s UAV pop-up lab to explore the use of satcoms for the operation of UAVs. Alpha and Inmarsat will be testing the Alpha 800 tactical helicopter UAV which can sustain up to 3-hour flights for long-range medical supply delivery in areas with limited to no radio-frequency coverage.