BVLOS flights underway as part of Kansas pilot programme activity

Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (IPP) has successfully completed the first beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone operation using only onboard detect-and-avoid systems. The platform utilized for these operations was the Applied Aeronautics, Albatross UAV. The FAA’s approval for the flight was granted based on the utilization of Iris Automation’s detect-and-avoid system, called Casia, which provides commercial drones with automated collision avoidance manoeuvres.

The nine-mile flight was conducted by the Applied Aeronautics Albatross UAV and allowed a Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus team and Iris Automation flight team to inspect power lines in collaboration with the state’s largest energy provider, Evergy, Inc. In the first two days of flights, the team completed more than 150 miles BVLOS.

The operation is the collaborative effort of the 31-member Kansas UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) team efforts to advance drone technologies, and includes K-State Polytechnic, Evergy, Iris Automation and KDOT.

(Image: Applied Aeronautics)

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