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Head Office in North Bay

30 Roundel Road, North Bay, Ontario, P1C 0B8

Request a Quote

The best at what we do..

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Toll Free : 1-866-206-2267

Working Hours

We are happy to meet you during our working hours. Please make an appointment.

  • Monday - Friday08:00-16:30
  • Saturday - SundayClosed

Unifly and Terra Drone co-develop UTM system with Hitachi

By admin In UAV News

05

Oct
2018

Unifly and Terra Drone co-develop UTM system with Hitachi

Hitachi has launched a drone platform solution expanding their existing infrastructure inspection services portfolio with an AI-assisted, drone-based service.

Over the last years, the societal impact of drone technology is steadily increasing and it is expected that the use of drone technology will improve business efficiency in many fields.

Today, professional drone applications mainly target logistics, infrastructure inspection, surveying, agriculture, disaster response and spatial information data management. Moving from pilot controlled flights to automated drone flights Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is key to realizing the full potential of these drone applications. To that end, Hitachi provides a drone flight management system and drone maintenance services to support safe and secure autonomous drone flights.

In August 2018, Hitachi was awarded the contract for the development of the “Fukushima Robot Test Field” drone flight management system. The “Fukushima Robot Test Field” is the only test centre with a drone operations management function at the Japanese large-scale demonstration laboratory. The goal of the test centre is to further advance BVLOS drone flights.

Unifly and Terra Drone provide the technical UTM backbone to ensure safe BVLOS drone flights at the test center. After registration the drones are monitored and tracked in real-time informing the authorities continuously on drone flight activities and flight compliance.

Hitachi established a drone service review organisation in 2015. This organisation promotes research and development activities on the core technologies, services and operational methods necessary for the social implementation of drone services through advanced demonstration experiments with customers in a wide range of industries. Simultaneously, on basis of the experience gained, Hitachi is expanding the portfolio of services that use AI to process and analyse the data collected by drones.

In infrastructure monitoring, AI and historical data is used to select the locations with the highest potential for materials deterioration. AI-assisted image processing is used to automatically detect materials deterioration and contamination highlighting locations requiring more detailed inspection.

To maximise the efficiency of drone missions, careful selection of drone type, imaging equipment, operational procedures and equipment maintenance is essential. Hitachi Group goes beyond simply delivering a drone: its drone services are tailored to provide all elements necessary to ensure the customer’s drone mission success.

Hitachi Group’s drone-based solutions are cloud-based and incorporate the following three concepts: “safe and secure autonomous flight”, “one-stop solution” and “cooperative creative innovation”. Innovative technologies such as AI, IoT, robots and big data are combined to support economic development and to solve social problems. Hitachi Group is fully committed to provide solutions for making the rich, human-centered Society 5.0 vision of a “super smart society” a reality. Society 5.0 is the Japanese government’s vision of the new society following the hunting, agricultural, industrial and information society. This vision aims to tackle several challenges by going far beyond just the digitalization of the economy towards the digitalization across all levels of society and the digital transformation of society itself.

In addition to this Hitachi Group actively contributes to the development of the necessary legal and standardisation frameworks by providing policy advise through the Japan Unmanned Operation Management Consortium (JUTM), by researching the next-generation unmanned aerial vehicles at the University of Tokio and by participating in the ISO’s international standardisation activities.

Published at Fri, 05 Oct 2018 15:14:48 +0000

{articles|100|campaign}Argonne battery technology takes flight

Not all batteries are created equal. State-of-the-art battery technology for cell phones, for instance, looks a lot different from batteries for electric cars. Similarly, land-based electric vehicle battery technology differs in key respects from batteries that are beginning to be used in aerial vehicles.

These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, make up an ever-expanding market that now includes military, commercial, consumer and law enforcement applications.

We’re very interested in everything in the third dimension — which includes drones.” — Venkat Srinivasan, ACCESS director

According to Shabbir Ahmed, a chemical engineer and group leader in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering division of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, moving from land-based to air-based vehicles creates very different battery and energy storage needs.

The safety margins for something that flies versus something on the road are different,” Ahmed said.  To lift something in the air also has different power requirements than for something that rolls on the ground. The longer the range, the heavier the battery. All these things must be considered when the application changes.”

Energy storage requirements serve as a primary constraint for drones — both in the small- and medium-size categories, which use electric systems. This limitation also applies to larger systems that run on turbine or combustion engines. So the need for better batteries is acute, and finding new materials is still the name of the game.

Recently, Argonne has embarked on a new initiative, supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, which will establish a new  Mission-Driven Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Design Center.” This center addresses the various interconnected challenges and trade-offs of energy consumption, noise, flight time and payload. One of the goals of this effort is to develop a tool to evaluate potential drone design options, including battery-powered and hybrid architectures.

One intriguing potential customer base for UAV energy storage technology is the U.S. military, said Christopher Claxton, who oversees commercialization management of Argonne’s battery intellectual property portfolio. According to Claxton, the unique needs of the military are pushing researchers to look at materials in new ways for different applications.

Offering a full range of solutions to meet Department of Defense mission requirements is key, according to Claxton. Argonne must also leverage its demonstrated ability to collaborate and successfully engage across what Claxton called the  value chain” of government agencies and manufacturing partners.

When you work with end users like the military on advanced battery systems they want solutions,” he said.  We have a demonstrated ability to work directly with people who have highly specific needs to create specialized materials that are matched to their exact mission requirements.”

All the research on batteries for UAVs will connect to work currently underway in the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS), a powerful association of scientists and engineers from across Argonne that solves energy storage problems through multidisciplinary research.

In the course of ongoing research, a new focus has emerged.  Right now the big thinking is about moving from land-based to the third dimension,” said ACCESS director Venkat Srinivasan.  We’re very interested in everything in the third dimension — which includes drones. It’s all part of a continuum.”

In addition to the all-encompassing battery and energy storage programs that span the continuum from basic materials research and diagnostics to scale-up processes and ultimate deployment, Srinivasan pointed to a critical core value at Argonne that makes it uniquely suited to this kind of problem-solving.

The reason we’ve been so effective is because we are making a difference in the real world,” he said.  Our lab discoveries lead to market impact. We are always looking at what the world needs and where it’s going, and looking at what these questions mean for batteries.”

Because we ask these questions, it gives us the ability to be very sharp in the research and development we do. That’s the beauty of the Argonne program — we go from science to application.”

Published at Fri, 05 Oct 2018 15:08:32 +0000

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