NEW APPLICATIONS: BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) is becoming an increasingly important with drones.

Drone applications advance out of sight

JAPAN’s leading unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) provider has successfully completing BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) drone test flights in Vietnam.

In May 2017, Terra Drone Corporation conducted a BVLOS drone flight using its UAV Traffic Management (UTM) system in Da Nang, Vietnam in cooperation with the Vietnamese Government.

The test flight was the first of many to demonstrate, test, review and improve on the capabilities of drones to operate beyond the visual line of sight of a pilot.

Terra Drone’s Brisbane branch chief Tsuyoshi Honda said drones traditionally needed pilots to maintain direct vision to operate effectively.

“BVLOS offers advanced remote control capabilities, intuitive maneuverability and hazard avoidance systems,” Mr Honda said.

“The successful development of this technology is expected to provide key improvements in safety, cost, efficiency, and accuracy for surveying and inspection operations.”

Mr Honda said Terra Drone’s parent company, Terra Motors Co, had been manufacturing and selling electric vehicles in Vietnam for six years.

“Vietnam is an emerging economic powerhouse in South East Asia and we have been delighted to act as a pioneer in enhancing the nation’s technological development,” he said.

“Drone use is rapidly increasing in infrastructure development and disaster relief, and Terra Drone is well positioned to capitalise on Vietnam’s growing prosperity.”

He said BVLOS drone operations offered a range of applications for the benefit of Australian industry.

“BVLOS drones can undertake operations in environments and locations that may otherwise be inaccessible, risky or hazardous to humans.

“With BVLOS, operators are able to maintain high-levels of occupational health and safety as drones can be sent into hazardous environments in place of engineers and surveyors.

“As drone technology continues to evolve we will no doubt see an increase in capabilities and global applications.”

Terra Drone is continuing to enhance its technology, including developing a drone solution based on First Person View.

“First Person View allows remote navigation of drones, via intuitive systems and a direct-onboard camera system, from almost anywhere in the world.

“For example, I could control a drone at a construction site in Sydney from my computer here in Brisbane; that is the sort of centralised solution we are creating,” Mr Honda said.

Artificial intelligence (AI) was seen as the next innovation horizon for drone technology, where AI understood what the drone was seeing and could identify water, land, trees, and other objects, he said.