Drone automation technology firm VOTIX and Iris automation announced last week that they’re entering a partnership to enable safe BVLOS flights through the integration of Iris Automation’s Casia G ground-based detect and alert system into the VOTIX cloud-based drone operating system.

This integration will make remote operations a reality for enterprises that need effective and flexible drone BVLOS deployments. Applications could include routine automated inspections of critical infrastructure or rapid mobilization seen in Drone as First Responder programs.

This hardware-software solution will feed data from the Casia G system into the VOTIX platform to provide a complete picture of the operational airspace in real-time. A key requirement to obtaining BVLOS regulatory approvals is the ability to detect non-cooperative aircraft at distance. The Casia G system fulfills this by monitoring the airspace and providing precise location and classification data of intruder aircraft, enabling automated conflict resolution via the VOTIX platform. This brings a new level of safety and mission capability to customers looking to expand their operations at scale.

The VOTIX and Iris Automation systems allow for integration applications that might eventually be used for eVTOL operations, but that also differ in their management of operational airspace classification being separated from airspace that might be used for mixed purpose in aerial mobility operations.

Casia G creates a stationary perimeter of sanitized, monitored airspace without the need to add additional sensors or payload to the drone. Using patented computer vision technology, Casia G alerts the Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) if a risk of collision is present and allows the drone to maneuver to safe zones. This eliminates the need for the pilot to maintain visual contact with the drone or to have Visual Observers (VOs) in place to monitor the skies.

Why it’s important: The partnership between VOTIX and Iris will amplify the ability of drone applications in beyond visual line of sight operations and further streamline the processes of increasing drones in operations in similar areas. There are some future integration challenges required for aerial mobility applications but the data and learnings from this initial experience will help to inform future scaling of drone operations and potentially and eventually inform aerial mobility airspace management and deconfliction.

Posted by Naish Gaubatz