Drone safety and its operation is a priority for the fast-growing multirotor industry. UAVs and multirotor drones are increasingly available in the online and offline market, offering commercial and a plethora of use-case. It is estimated that the global drone market will grow from $14 billion in 2019 to over $43 billion in 2024 at a CAGR of 20%, sales this year are expected to go beyond that. However, this increasing growth has raised questions on how safe drones are? And what steps and measures are needed to be taken in the context.
Drone technology is pushing the limits of everything from wildlife photography to home security, giving civilians the ability to explore higher and farther without any license or training. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are here to stay, and that means our airspace is changing too. However, along with new possibilities come new threats. As more UAVs are taking up the air space, news of drones falling from the sky has become more significant. So it is crucial to ensure the overall drone safety and safe operations in the air space.
Drone Safety and its operation are governing the principles for all operations. In many cases, drones are used to perform jobs that are dangerous to people, so drones offer a positive benefit to safety. Careful planning must be done to ensure that the system can operate safely in our surroundings.
Here are a few technologies that are ensuring drone safety around us
Automated Parachutes system
Parachutes have been a part of the aviation industry from decades. This technology could prove to be a tipping point for drone safety. In the case of UAVs, the parachutes are fitted on the drone inside a container. It can be deployed in less than 1 second and therefore can get expanded and helps drone land safely on the ground. By using manual instruction or sensing the loss of gravity or speed of rotation.
The American society for testing and materials (ASTM) establishes the requirements for design, manufacture and testing of the new parachute system. The standard requires an autonomous triggering system to detect failures and deploy the parachute without relying on the RPIC (remote-pilot-in-command) as well as a flight termination system to stop the motors from spinning. Stopping the motors will prevent entanglement with the parachute and reduce the risk of injury/damage.
Computer vision object avoidance
Computer vision technology has allowed companies to provide drones with visual awareness. That will certainly aid drones to avoid obstacles and to navigate around other UAVs completely with the help of AI/ML. This technology is essential to completely avoid future accidents and ensure drone safety and overall operations. Computer-aided vision helps the drone to understand its surroundings better. This technology could prove to be crucial in drone delivery operations.
Geo-fence is a virtual fence or boundary commonly called parameter set. In the case of drones, geofencing can be used to ‘fence off’ a sensitive or restricted area. It can also be used to ‘fence in’ a drone on a particular mission, for example when mapping an agricultural field or surveying a particular area.
Geofence system uses GPS for location control, to know and understand where your drone is located. Typically, once you power up your drone it locks onto a number of satellites to fix on its position. This is helpful for things like Return to Home and overall flight stability.
Rules and regulation for safe operations
- You must hold a Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA to fly commercially.
- You must register your UAV with the FAA on the FAA DroneZone website.
- Your UAV must weigh less than 55 pounds, including payload, at takeoff.
- You must keep your UAV within visual line-of-sight.
- You must fly at or below 400 feet.
- You must fly during daylight or civil twilight.
- You must fly at or under 100 mph.
- You must yield right of way to manned aircraft.
- You cannot fly directly over people.
- You cannot fly from a moving vehicle, unless in a sparsely populated area.
In aviation, safety is paramount whether it is manned aircraft or unmanned. Aviation authorities and various industries around the globe are working on making drone safety more promising. Drones are making an impact on various industries. But like any new technology, incorporating them into your business model requires careful consideration of risk. We at Jungleworks have safety first policy and our team is constantly working on making drone operations safe for every business use-case.
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