EXPONENT TECHNOLOGY SERVICES & REDWING LABS Unlocked 26 KM of BVLOS Airspace for Telangana

The 26 KM flight undertaken between the two partners lasted 35 minutes carrying 300 doses of Revac B Vaccine and 15 doses of Tubervaac Vaccine

By,

Wassaf Akhtar Mohammed | 06/01/2022

Exponent technology services and Redwing Labs had received authority from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Govt. of Telangana to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) across 26 KM of airspace within Telangana’s ~50-KM Drone Corridor. Current regulations in India require drone operators to always have sets of eyes on the sky, limiting the ability to fly large distances. The capability to legally and safely fly BVLOS is crucial to unlocking the economic advantage of routine commercial drone operations like Inspection, Surveillance, medical and package deliveries.

A 26 KM corridor unlocked for medical delivery using drones as seen on the Exponent’s UTM system

India’s first organized trials for drones in healthcare, i.e. Medicine from the Sky program(MFTS) set a new record in October 2021 by flying a distance of 26 Km fully autonomously and without any manual interventions during the flight.

The 26 KM flight undertaken between the two partners lasted 35 minutes carrying 300 doses of Revac B Vaccine and 15 doses of Tubervaac Vaccine. Cold chain was maintained with a temperature of 4.6 degrees celsius between Vikarabad’s new Area hospital to Bomraspet PHC. In contrast to the land route, the journey would otherwise take 46 Km completed by land missions North of an hour by road.

This level of testing unlocked for the first time in the Sovereign airspace of India:

· System-level evaluation, including contingency management and off-nominal conditions.

· Airspace separation, including both cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft, and ground obstacles.

· Direct and distributed communication and control.

· Navigation, close to people and building, both terrestrial and satellite based

What this means to India?

· With such successful endeavors, Indian Railways can take advantage of monitoring stretches of rail line corridor much efficiently and cost effectively ensuring safety and robustness of the heart of transportation system of India

· State police departments in more than 20 states can now monitor weekend rush hour traffic and accidents on the highway stretch between different exits and Toll Plaza’s and on the six-lane Interstate Expressways.

· National Disaster management Authority (NDMA) can deploy drones in inaccessible areas for search and rescue operations

· State Governments can now use drones to inspect oil pipelines, detect illegal mining, and counting of vegetation in reclaimed areas

· Logistics industries can now drive digitization of their supply chain

· Healthcare industries can now use drones, racing against time to save lives by the mission of bringing critical life-saving supplies in matter of minutes instead of hours

· Military establishments can now use drones to transport FMCG products in inaccessible areas in an inexpensive manner

Authors take:

“Aiding innovative technology that is creating the jobs of tomorrow is at the heart of what Enterprises must aim to do. By continuing to support the growing UAS industry in Telangana, and in particular India, we must ensure its perpetual development, securing India’s place as a global leader in this emerging business.”

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