Iris Automation partners with Doosan Mobility and Drone America to extend BVLOS UAS operations

Hydrogen fuel cell company Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) has signed agreements with Iris Automation and Drone America to pursue Doosan’s hydrogen fuel cell technology to enhance scalable systems for long range, autonomous beyond line of sight (BVLOS) UAS operations.

The companies will work together to integrate technologies and share operational resources to test and evaluate aircraft platforms and infrastructure to support commercial BVLOS operations.

DMI, Iris Automation and Drone America will demonstrate how their combined flight experience, technologies and expertise can help shape the future of BVLOS commercial operations.

Due to its higher energy density over traditional lithium batteries, and zero-emissions profile, Doosan’s Hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to sustainably expand BVLOS drone operations for both commercial and public flight operations. Traditional lithium batteries and fossil fuel-powered propulsion systems are predominantly used in small UAS aircraft today. Battery-powered systems, such as those currently in use, do not produce carbon emissions but are limited in range and capacity. Fossil fuel propulsion systems have longer range, but at the expense of carbon emissions and high environmental noise.

According to DMI’s research and testing, its UAS hydrogen fuel cells can outperform traditional batteries with an energy density up to four times the current standard. Hydrogen can be produced using 100% renewable energy and when the fuel cell generates electricity it emits only water vapor.

Iris Automation’s Casia allows an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) to see and react to the aviation environment around the aircraft, enabling real time airspace awareness onboard the BVLOS UAV’s during flight operations.

“Getting to higher density, zero-emissions fuel is an important breakthrough for long-range drone operations. As part of the overall drive to scale, it makes commercial operations increasingly viable and cost-effective. Given Doosan and Drone America’s leadership in this space and very practical roles in enabling drone operations, we’re excited to collaborate,” said Lori DeMatteis, vice president of sales and marketing at Iris Automation.

Doosan has been manufacturing fuel cell technology since 2014, and now provides safe, miniaturised fuel cell-powered systems for use in drones.

“The potential of hydrogen fuel cell drone technology that delivers the endurance and performance necessary to enable autonomous UAV flight, without carbon emissions, is huge. This partnership is an excellent way to jumpstart the progress we can make by collaborating with two pioneers at the forefront of real-world UAV innovation to actually start BVLOS services,” said Soonsuk (Fran) Roh, manager of Americas and Oceania business development at Doosan Mobility Innovation.

Drone America specialises in designing and manufacturing uncrewed aircraft systems while providing commercial flight services to first responders, critical delivery, and infrastructure surveying and inspections. Drone America is in the process of developing a fleet of certified above 55lb. aircraft that takes full advantage of Doosan’s fuel cell systems and incorporate Iris’s Casia for real-time airspace awareness.

For more information visit:

www.irisonboard.com

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