US drone and UTM company PrecisionHawk files for bankruptcy

By Philip Butterworth-Hayes

Drone operator PrecisionHawk will cease operations and close its Raleigh, North Carolina,  headquarters after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last week.

According to its bankruptcy filings, the company owes UD242,667 in unpaid rent on its headquarters. The company has raised over USD100 million in funding rounds since 2015 and still has USD3 million in assets but more than USD17.5 million in debt.

The company has a rich heritage in supporting UTM development.

In 2015 the company joined the NASA team developing UTM concepts “and launched the working prototype for a ‘Low Altitude Tracking and Avoidance System’, otherwise known as LATAS, to serve as a solution for the safe integration of drones into the National Airspace”.

In 2020 PrecisionHawk was awarded two patents for technologies it has developed for UTM applications. The patents, titled ‘Automated Unmanned Air Traffic Control System,’ are designed to enable collision avoidance between drones and manned aircraft. This is achieved by transmitting real-time flight data from drones to a UTM server prior to and while in-flight.

Image: Shutterstock

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