Av8Chuck

Civil Drones In the Military

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This is a press release about our partnership with the Navy.  This is significant because at the moment all Commercially Off the Shelf UAV’s (COTS) are banned in the military and we’re one of the few, if not the only UAV company given a waiver to fly. 

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/291688/unmanned-aerial-systems-provide-navy-opportunity-enhance-fleet-readiness

 

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This obviously is something that has been in the works for a considerable amount of time.  In fact it started well before the ban on COTS which is why I often referred to the US Army ban on DJI and what the potential impact that might have on the commercial market.  Many on this and other forums thought I had an agenda or accused me of being a conspiracy theorists.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of what someone knows and when.  

As a result of this CRADA I was asked to be on a panel and give a presentation on the potential role of UAV’s and “The Digital Twin” in regards to In Service Engineering.  In attendance were the Undersecretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy and a a whole host of officials with acronyms I have no idea what they are..  

I cant share the actual presentation but I can share the introduction video.  The first 30 seconds is our standard open but then it changes to the introduction of the presentation.  The titles go by quickly but if people are serious about working in and developing a strong commercial UAV industry, these are the types of things we should be discussing.  

If people continue to believe the hype coming from DJI then you should continue to expect being paid a couple of hundred dollars per mission.  If instead people want to understand for themselves how to define an industry where you can charge thousands of dollars per mission then I’d recommend changing the conversation. 

 

I’m not selling a book,  or am I trying to get people to attend a $199 class, I’m just trying to get people to take control of their own future.  It doesn’t cost anything to debate and shape your own future.  For people who think that this can’t happen on a forum like this, we’ll they are spineless uninformed idiots.  This is exactly how the whole drone industry started in the first place.  

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Thanks Luke. 

It was actually done months ago, this was just the press release about the signing ceremony.  Its funny though how many people have contacted us because I guess this makes it official...

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Apparently I'm just doing this for myself. 

This is what we affectionately refer to as "the USS Aerial Alchemy."  You have to love the winter in California...

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hehehe... chuck - you're crackin me up! Where is your selfie stick in the most recent photo of you? j/k

I liked the original post but got distracted and missed replying. Congrats on landing this AND making it official. 

Can you speak to any current challenges you've found since starting this or is everything classified?

Have you tried launching/landing the drone in rough seas? In rain? How close can you get to the ship and still feel your operation is safe?

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Hi @Steve Bennett how have you been?  Good questions.  

I can't post any of the footage of the "USS Aerial Alchemy" the Navy's Self Defense Test Ship because it often has things on it that isn't meant for the public.  However the research we're doing isn't considered classified.  We also us a smaller ship, The Independence for many of the experiments, its also a Navy ship and there are often restrictions on what we can show. 

You've probably already seen this one, the USS Aerial Alchemy is in this from a distance as we're leaving port on the Independence:

Working with the military has its challenges but everyone is really supportive and so far there haven't been that many obstacles to working with the Navy.

When you fly UAVs people always talk about safety first, I tend to think about safety third or fourth.  If you know what your doing and safety is part of the plan then common sense goes a long way.  There's really not much, if anything, our UAVs could damage on either ship so regarding safety its not that much different than flying on land.

We're getting the whole takeoff and landing thing on a moving ship down pretty well.  Most consumer drones won't arm on the hood of a car, you can get Phantoms and MAVIC to arm if you hand launch them but the Navy really  frowns on that.  We can get away with that in the research environment but they won't allow sailors to hand launch and recover. 

Some of the challenges are the many passive and active radars.  They use a lot of classified radars that I can't tell you whet they are, not that I'm keeping secrets I really have no idea what they are.  I only care about if they effect the performance of our UAVs.  We have what we call a "Rabbit," its basically a smaller version of our UAVs with all the same electronics that we launch first to test for interference.  

We haven't launched in rough seas, we haven't really even been out in rough sees.  They probably wouldn't use what we're doing in inclement weather simply because the scan wouldn't be effective.  We have modified the UAVs a little to deal with all the moisture.  The ocean is a pretty demanding environment and causes a lot of corrosion etc..  We will have to change our manufacturing process for anything the Navy would use.  

I tried a selfie stick but I couldn't get enough of the ship in the shot...

 

 

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