A New Jersey communications company tested a drone recently to see how well a drone-package-delivery service can be operated beyond a pilot’s visual line of sight.
Springfield is one of the few places nationally where such tests can take place.
TELEGRID Technologies, Inc., a New Jersey-based developer and producer of communications and networking equipment, launched its “Drone Express” unmanned air vehicle (UAV) into the skies above Springfield recently to test the aircraft’s ability to deliver packages beyond visual line of sight — sometimes called “BVLOS.”
Drone Express is a logistics company that uses airborne autonomous drones for local package delivery.
The company is talking with retailers to help them launch UAV delivery services and came to Springfield to use the region’s BVLOS airspace to test its drone, the Dayton Development Coalition said.
The testing happened at the Springfield Beckley Municipal Airport, where the FAA allows BVLOS testing.
Also operated at the Springfield airport: SkyVision, an air traffic control system for drones that allows unmanned aircraft systems to detect and avoid other aircraft while in flight, the coalition said.
“We knew we had to come to Springfield to test our Drone Express to better understand its BVLOS capabilities,” TELEGRID’s Principal Engineer Beth Flippo said in the coalition release. “Our drones already perform global obstacle avoidance and determine a safe flight path that avoids obstacles in the air and dangerous situations on the ground, and we wanted to test how that would function in a BVLOS environment.”
Today, the FAA doesn’t allow package delivery from autonomous drones.
“Our mission is to use autonomous drones to improve local delivery while reducing the impact on the environment,” Flippo said. “We envision a service that provides low-cost same-day delivery for retailers nationwide using drones that are safe, secure and use eco-friendly renewable energy.”
Drone Express UAVs is one aspect of TELEGRID’s 36 years of designing and manufacturing secure hardware and embedded software solutions for the U.S. military.
Drone Express UAVs receive a constant feed of data for situational awareness updated in real-time using secure data feeds. In other words, the drone “knows” where it is and what to avoid.
Drone Express is a member of the Federal Aviation Administration UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP)
According to the company, the Drone Express service allows retailers to quickly and safely deliver small items under 13 pounds to local customers and could work well for grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants and other retailers with frequent, small orders.
For a video of the Drone Express TM system, visit: https://droneexpress.ai/intelligent-uav-technology/.