+00:00 GMT
Sign in or Join the community to continue

Summiting Mount Regulation for Drone as First Responder (DFR) Programs

Posted Jun 13, 2024 | Views 1.1K
# Public Safety
# Regulatory
# Remote Operations
# Skydio Dock
# First Responders
Jakee Stoltz
Sr. Regulatory Program Manager @ Skydio

Join Jakee Stoltz from the #skydio regulatory team for this informative webinar on "Summiting Mount Regulation for #DroneasFirstResponder (#DFR) Programs." Dive deep into Skydio's approach to scaling DFR programs through #regulatory efforts and discover how you can navigate the complex path of aviation safety and compliance.

Key Learnings: -Regulatory Navigation: Understand the step-by-step process Skydio uses to help agencies obtain necessary regulatory approvals. -Safety First: Learn about Skydio's commitment to aviation safety and how they balance it with operational needs. -Operational Expertise: Gain insights from Skydio's team of experienced pilots and operators who bring real-world flying experience to regulatory solutions. -Technological Integration: Explore how Skydio leverages advanced technology, like ADS-B, for enhanced airspace awareness and safety. -Case Studies: Hear about successful implementations of DFR programs, including tactical operations and remote piloting scenarios.

Learn more about Skydio Regulatory Services for Drone as First Responder programs:

+ Read More

I'm Jakee Stoltz, part of the Skydio regulatory team. Thanks for taking an hour out of your day to attend this webinar and learn more about our approach to scaling DFR through regulatory work.

So I want to pause quickly on on even the title here of the webinar, somebody not regulation for DFR programs. I just wanna kinda explain that that analogy quick. This came to me a few months ago as a useful way to describe some of what the regulatory team does, and how we help customers and kind of clear these hurdles slowly. So, like climbing a mountain, the work that we're doing, it's it's a journey. So it's not something that's been accomplished overnight.

We've been working at this for many years, and so it takes persistence and teamwork and and some patience at times to kinda navigate our way through some uncharted territory, on our way to to the summit, so to speak.

Another aspect is safety. So just like climbing a mountain, you know, safety is really important. And so we do care a lot about aviation safety.

And when we're working with customers and we're working with the FAA, we're always trying to find kind of safe ways and and creative ways to, accomplish the mission but still maintain aviation safety. And then, finally, from kind of a customer's perspective, if you're climbing a mountain, it does help to have an expert guide or expert guides to to help you navigate this. So in that way, the the regulatory team, you know, we aim to be those expert guides for our customers to kinda help navigate this, you know, sometimes complex, path.

So with that, here's the rest of the regulatory team. So we're we're a small but highly experienced team. And the first thing, you know, that we always want people to know is that we're actually, you know, pilots and operators first and foremost.

So, you know, we're we're just we're aviation, you know, fans, you know, have been for a long time. We're certificated pilots.

So myself, I'm a certified flight instructor, commercial pilot, and remote pilot.

GEM Player is a glider pilot, and and Daniel is a remote pilot. So we've all spent, you know, a lot of time out in the field flying drones, flying crewed aircraft, and that gives us kind of that operational experience. So then when we're we're working with customers and we're building safety cases, we kinda understand, like, what it's out like to be out in the field, what it's like to actually fly these, and then we're able to kinda translate that into, if any safety cases.

We have combined, you know, twenty five plus years of experience, like I said, and and we've been working, at this for a long time. So we've helped big, you know, customers, leaders that are, leaders of Beamish on-site in their respective fields achieve success.

And so we're we're you know, our goal at the company really is to bring all that expertise to our customers to help them achieve this as well.

Alright. So I we always bring this slide up.

This was unveiled by the company a couple years ago. We call it the arc of autonomy. And so just like a product team has a road map for how the the features they're gonna build kinda fit into this cohesive vision of a product, you You know, you could you could look at this as our kind of regulatory road map.

And in some ways, to even go back to the analogy, these could be considered kind of those base camps, that you might set up on that mountain as you're kinda climbing to the summit there. So, the air economy, we have five stages, and we've been kinda incrementally working through these stages, over the past, you know, decade really. But, we we believe today that we're actually kind of firmly in stage three, and stage three is characterized by remote operations. So the pilot no longer has to be physically located with the drone, kinda out in the field with controller flying it. We're at a point now where we have, over twenty five customers, doing advanced remote operations, and this is also without visual observers and, without, you know, kinda complicated, technology for airspace awareness.

But the vision here really so, like, that autonomous summit you kinda saw in that summoning analogy.

Where we're going and where we wanna be at is in a stage five where, actually, the pilot becomes optional in some ways. So for DFR, what this could look like someday in our where our goal is is to perhaps have, a self dispatched drone, and that drone would dispatch based on, you know, some set of criteria, both from a mission standpoint and from a aviation safety standpoint.

And so the drone will respond to a call, and then as it arrives, there would still be the ability for an officer or a pilot to, kinda jump into the cockpit, so to speak, and start manipulating the drone, through the scene to to accomplish the mission.

So that's kind of our vision for this.

But today, you know, we we do believe we're squarely in stage three already.

And so just to highlight that a little bit more and kinda talk about some of the the the customers and con ops that we've unlocked in the past couple years. So, back in twenty twenty, we we kinda entered stage one with the tactical beyond an eyesight concept.

That approval was, in part with a partnership with Chula Vista Police Department and Skydio.

And something that we're always really proud of is when we we achieve success with regulatory wins and then that becomes scalable to other agencies. So, since twenty twenty, that tactical beyond your insight concept has been issued to over five hundred agencies now.

And so it's kind of a very common thing now that agencies are able to, to do that kind of tactical work.

Then in twenty twenty one, it's kind of now entering into stage three in remote ops, BNSF received a first of its kind approval to start doing remote operations with our our dock product.

And so this was really, like, the first time, for small drones, small remote drones that a pilot was able to fly a drone completely remote. So there's no flight crew on-site. There's no VO, you know, no pilot that had to do preflight or anything like that. So fully remote operation, and that was based on a early concept of shield operations, EDSBN, and it did at that time include a a noncooperative detectonoid sensor.

But then in twenty twenty three, the pace really picked up when we started to see that repeatability and that scalability. So, we had a couple wins that year. So first with Dominion Energy and NYPA, your power authority, they received approvals in early twenty twenty three to begin doing remote operations, within, like, their power generation facilities or substations, so their, their energy networks.

And this was based on fifty foot shielding, supplying within fifty feet of the ground or structures and ADSB.

So there is no extra, airspace awareness sensors required.

Then, in middle of twenty twenty three, Southern Company received a first of its kind approval to operate to two hundred foot, and this is two hundred foot shielding within critical infrastructure.

And then, finally, in the later half of twenty twenty three and, actually, just recently in twenty twenty four here, we've unlocked a new type of operation where operations can be conducted up to two hundred feet AGL, and they're not quite considered shielded anymore. It's kind of on that boundary.

But in this case, just ADSD is used in a Motze veil to, maintain your space awareness in that case.

So, again, we're we're really excited that these are now scalable. So besides the companies kinda noted on the slide here, these approvals have been issued to, like, over twenty five different Skyhook customers and, just innumerable other, you know, companies and operators in the drone industry. So it's something we're really proud of.

Okay. So now getting to, drone as first responder or DFR, of course, and that's kinda why everybody's here, I'm sure. So, we wanted to kind of talk a little bit about how drones first responder is done today, and it is being done. So you you saw the video, with Oklahoma City Police Department, but there's also numerous other agencies across the country doing during this first responder today.

And so how is that done?

So, it's done today with, an FAA Beyond Vision website approval and visual observers.

So the approval itself is called a first responder Beyond Visual Analytics site certificate of authorization.

It's kind of a mouthful, but we just kind of collectively call it, FRBB last COA.

And this COA, this approval of does allow for remote operations.

So a pilot can now be remotely located, you know, in some kind of real time cram center or, remote operation center, anywhere other than, you know, where the the drone is physically located itself.

And so since the pilot is no longer able to to see a drone and see it surrounding your space, a visual observer fills that role instead. So a visual observer, they are not a remote pilot certificate. They don't have to hold their remote pilot certificate, but they do need a little bit of training on their rules and responsibilities.

And they're responsible for scanning two miles of airspace around the drone, while it's flying.

So a lot of agencies will, deploy these visual observers up on rooftops.

There's really good sight lines generally from those, so they can see kind of in all directions and around the drone.

But it doesn't have to be on a rooftop either. So it could be an officer that's on the street that still has a good view of the surrounding airspace.

These approvals do allow up to, four hundred VAGL operations, you know, in control airspace.

Or in controlled airspace, they allow to be FAA UAS facility map altitudes.

And then finally, a really key point for COAs is that, when it's necessary to safeguard human life, which a lot of trans responder trans first responder operations are, the COS do allow for, kinda minimal operations over human beings.

So, this is a really key difference between COAs and part one zero seven where under part one zero seven, kind of the default is that you you can't operate over human beings.

So co is allowed for, you know, that that kind of transit operation over humans. You know, sort of the drone as it's just flying to the call, it might just briefly fly over somebody, pedestrian, or moving vehicle, and that is allowed under these colors.

Alright. And so, you saw, you know, KCPD again.

You know, they they had a goal last year of deploying docs at a state fair. And so this is a really good example of of an agency that is already doing DFR today and has kinda trialed this. So the the, police department, they worked with us to obtain this FRB, the last coop, so we kinda navigate them through that process.

It took approximately two months from the time we kicked off the project to the to the time they had assigned co on hand. So, it's relatively quick. You know, a lot of people think that this FAA process takes, months or years, and in some cases, it does not. It can actually go quite quick like this.

And this approval allowed, it it was obtained early enough so that Oklahoma's police department could deploy their docs. They could do training. They could do testing at the state fair kind of all in advance of that.

So by the time the state fair came, you know, on day one, they were ready to go, conduct DFR operations. So, the the state fair is a it was a big success. As you can see here on the numbers, you know, over eleven days, they flew three hundred forty one times. It's over once an hour.

And the pilots were able to kinda be remotely located in a climate controlled, facility that was, you know, kind of away from the action. So it's sterile and and calm, and and you can just focus on flying.

And I don't think anybody would would be, upset about not standing on a rooftop with a controller in in, the Oklahoma heat.

And then from a visual observer standpoint, the the police department used officers that were just already, kinda stationed throughout the fair.

So those became the visual observers, and they were able to communicate back any, you know, aviation hazards that they saw to the pilots.

And, a a keynote here too is that so, you know, the state fair is over, but this COA actually continues to support the operations there. So, now OKCPD is, they're they're still looking at dot based DFR deployments, but they're also spearheading this petroleum DFR initiative. So with x tens in officers' trunks, the the officer can bring those to a call. They can deploy the drones.

They can kinda power it on and get it ready for flight, but then they can allow a remote operator, to kind of take control of that drone and fly it for the mission. So the officer kinda able to offload that pilot duty. They become the visual observers, so they can just communicate back anything that they see. But it's a new kind of DFR that we're really excited about and that this Koa, supports as well.

Alright. So now that we've kind of talked about how DFR is done today, you know, there's a lot of agencies that are getting tremendous value out of this already, and there's just a lot of, kind of excitement about, how this is gonna grow and and mature. And so one of the hurdles that that we see on the regulatory team is this visual observer requirement.

So it it's not easy, and sometimes it's even untenable for for an agency to, pull an officer away, to just stand on a roof and scan airspace. You know, agencies are already kinda short staffed as it is, and so this can be a difficult proposition.

Or the alternative is that you hire a contractor, to do this, but then it's a budget issue.

Those aren't, you know, budget there's not just money laying around, all the time either. So, this visual observer requirement is kind of a key blocker to scalable DFR, and that's something that the radio team has been working on, working on unlocking now for a year.

So, we're gonna share here kind of our our approach really to this, like, how we're looking at, the regulatory challenge of removing the visual observer for DFR.

So our approach is leveraging kind of three key things, shielded DFR operations, Skydio autonomy, and the use of ADS B technology. And so we'll kinda get more into these, in the following slides.

Okay. So first off, we have a concept called shielded DFR operations.

So you heard me talk a little bit earlier about shielded operations in, like, utilities context, so fifty foot shield operations or two hundred foot shield operations over critical infrastructure.

We worked a lot with agencies to kinda understand, like, what what kind of altitude do you need to get the mission done?

You know, what kind of altitude could we maybe settle on that balances aviation safety and the operational capability?

And we kept hearing two hundred feet as kinda being that number. A lot of agencies actually limit their operations to two hundred feet or below today already with visualized sight.

This is often the case with a units that have, deviation units to helicopters. It's kind of a nice way to deconflict those.

And so we kind of use the the progress that we've been making under partners and waivers.

And kinda with the feedback from agencies, we settled on this, kinda hybrid approach. So shielded DFR operations is gonna be up to two hundred feet AGL operations, just kinda broadly.

Or, we know in urban areas, there's structures above two hundred feet. So, when you encounter those, we kind of add it on that fifty feet, shielded operations. So it's kind of a combination approach.

And, again, it it really just kinda builds on that success, that we've had on waivers, and we think there's a nice balance between aviation safety and, operational capability.

Okay. And then, you know, one thing that we did hear a lot with agencies is that flying lower, there there is concern about, you know, hitting obstacles, power lines, buildings, trees, and things of that nature. So that's part of what kind of drove, that you're being at a higher altitude up to two hundred feet. But with SkyDue Autonomy, you know, that that kinda really reduces or frankly, eliminates that that concern for hitting obstacles at lower altitudes. So, we've had day daytime obstacle avoidance, from the very beginning, really, but now we have nighttime obstacle avoidance with Skydio Nightsense as well. And so we think this is gonna be a really powerful combination of you know, technology that helps pilots kind of avoid obstacles, reduces their workload, and at the same time, it enables, kind of that next, you know, wave of DFR operations within a visual server.

And this this, quick animation here is just a a quick shot of how our how our X ten with NightSense navigates through the parking lot at incomplete, just pitch back tonight.

And so besides obstacle avoidance, Skydoke TownView also includes other features that just support, you know, safe operations, so things like geofencing, with our sites feature.

That sites feature now includes a safe landing zone, feature. So if the drone is unable to make it to the dock or to the landing location, it can just divert itself to, a chosen spot. And so you can make sure that the drone is still landing somewhere that you you know and won't, you know, damage property or or hit a pedestrian, for example.

And then finally, we we have a new feature, in the moving map where we have street overlays. And so this can kinda help manage that ground risk as well. So I talked about how codes allow transient operations over people where you just kinda fly briefly over them.

But, as a pilot who's kinda making aeronautical decision making choices, you could decide maybe to just adjust the flight path just a little bit to the right or left to fly over, rooftops instead of down the street. And so features like this can kinda help you keep situation awareness of what's below the drone, for for safety purposes.

Okay. And then finally, the third part of our approach is using ADS B technology. So, I'm sure many that are watching this are familiar with ADS B, but just for in case, you know, there are some that don't, The really quick primer is that ADS B technology enables aircraft, like this helicopter, you know, airlines, general aviation aircraft, and so on.

It enables them to broadcast their position, altitude, speed, and a bunch of other information. And this is broadcast to air traffic controllers.

For their use, it's broadcast to other nearby aircraft.

And this technology has actually been around a a long time. I actually really love this technology back in my, flying days. So when I was flight training, this is at University of North Dakota where there's it's not uncommon for there to be, like, twenty, thirty aircraft or more, all flying in kind of close proximity around Grand Forks, North Dakota.

And so, you know, kind of even just from a crew to aviation standpoint, this is a huge safety feature. Like, you just being able to look on a a pane of glass in your cockpit and see, other you know, my other colleagues nearby, other students, was was a huge safety benefit. I also love that flight instructing, you know, just to kind of coordinate. Hey. I'm gonna do my maneuvers over here, and you stay over there. We'll we'll keep separated.

So this technology has been around a long time, and now we're starting to use it to keep drones, from getting near crude aircraft as well.

So there's really two parts of this. So there's the ADS B out part, and so this is the aircraft broadcasting this information.

And then there's the ADS B in part, and that is, kind of Skydio's part where we're receiving that data and displaying it in a useful way to the pilot.

So just to kinda hit on each one of those a little bit more as well. So with ADS B, in certain low altitude airspace, it's actually, federally required that you broadcast this information. So this airspace doesn't cover all of the United States. So, certainly, there's there's large areas of the US at low altitude that don't have this requirement.

But even in those cases, you know, there's kinda estimates of, like, eighty percent of aircraft nowadays have this technology and are using it.

But in certain airspace, like, the Mode C bales, class bravo airspace, and class Charlie airspace, it's actually required. And so that percentage of people using it goes way up, and there's been recent studies even that, you know, are are indicating that as many as ninety eight percent of aircraft, are broadcasting in this area.

And so, that this is kind of displayed on this graphic to the right here. So just to kind of really quickly hit that a little more. So this is, San Francisco is this is just an example, but you can kinda see each one of these air spaces on this graphic. So you have the San Francisco report, kind of in the middle with their Bravo airspace, all the way down to the surface, ADS BIO is required. You can also see, Sacramento and San Jose airports. Those are Charlie's, where, again, all the way down to the ground, ADS B is required.

But most importantly, around these around the busiest airports like San Francisco, there's what's called a Motee Vail. This is a thirty mile route where, all aircraft inside are required to broadcast ADS B.

So these make for really great environments where, drone operators can fly and use this technology to see, other aircraft flying.

Okay. So that's, the second part of this. So SkyView began integrating ADS Speed, over a year ago, and we did this to enable those part one zero seven, waivers and the customers doing that, like Dominion, NIPA, other company, and so on.

So we we added this feature to enable remote operations for those companies, and now we're bringing it to DFR as well.

And so kind of the basics of how this works is there's a receiver that's integrated with, Skydio remote flight deck, and that's a ground based or an onboard receiver. So with our dock products, we have a a ground based receiver. With X10, we have an onboard receiver. And so that data is brought in, and it's displayed on a map view where the drone is as well.

So, the operator or the pilot will see, where their drone's flying, but they'll also see other aircraft, flying in the area. And they'll see the position of those aircraft, the altitude and distance relative to the drone, and speeds of those aircraft. And so, we do some work to kinda minimize the number of aircraft that we show to the pilot. So we we filter away, you know, aircraft that are just, too far away to even really be a threat or too high.

You know, we don't wanna give, alerts or display data for airlines flying overhead at thirty thousand feet, for example.

So we kinda filter it down to just present the relevant information to the operator. And then if an aircraft does get too close, and we have some, alerting criteria kinda built into the system. But if an aircraft gets too close, they'll see an alert pop up. The target that is too close will turn red, and they'll see some more information about it. It's kinda shown in the graphic here on the right side.

And then they use that information to make a decision. So there's not an automatic maneuver because we believe that in not all cases today, the operator actually has to, maneuver. You know? So, for example, if a helicopter just flies a half mile kind of past the operational area but not directly over the drone, That that might be something good for the operator to know. Hey. Something's kinda nearby, but it doesn't necessarily necessitate a maneuver to get out of their way.

So it is an operator choice, but we've we've kind of designed remote flight deck to just make that that decision, that choice kind of as simple and easy as possible.

Okay. So that's kind of the three parts to our approach of unlocking DFR without visual observers. So, again, it's kind of leveraging shielded DFR operations, applying lower to the ground. It's using sky autonomy to make that safe, and then it's using ADS B technologies so that operators can see where other aircraft are and give right away if necessary.

And so I thought we'd we'd kinda go one level deeper actually and and just describe a little bit of, like, our rationale and kind of our thinking around how we got to this approach.

So kind of just one one step deeper to give everyone some insights.

So the the Skydio regulatory team, we really kind of consider ourselves experts in airspace awareness broadly. So, both at Skydio and and, you know, in our past, employments, we we've worked with, almost every kind of detection avoidance system out there. So we have really extensive experience with this from ADS B technology to radars, and that's all different kinds of radars. So we've interacted with the the biggest radars, like the FAA digital airport surveillance radars. Those are kind of those really big, you know, spinning disc radars that everybody thinks of, all the way down to, you know, the Echo Dimes and the Fordhams, kind of these small panel radars today.

We've used the electro optical systems.

So my colleague, actually used to work there, for iOS automation, and we've also used the acoustic systems, such as Sarah Sarah Tassa system.

And so, the the montage on the right is just kind of some some pictures of, the test that I've been personally part of over the past, eight years or so.

And, just to kinda give everybody example, like, one of my favorite ones, the picture in the upper left, actually, it's it's me and some colleagues standing in front of a General Atomics, Predator.

So he's a big bigger drone, obviously. So, just kind of a a side story here. So the General Atomics, they they do a lot of flying in the United States, obviously, for, like, training and testing and developing their system.

And so they're also, kind of beholden to these FAA regulations around, the amiginocyte.

And so, for the longest time, the way they would do some of their training was they would have to, chase this predator with a chase plane. And in that chase plane, there would be a pilot and a visual observer.

And they would follow this predator around and basically be their their eyes in the sky and communicate any, you know, aircraft that they saw back down to the pilots. And so, obviously, this is, like, incredibly inefficient, right, to have, this really expensive, you know, large drone flying around and then and then having another airplane following it around just so it can see.

And so they approached, us, the test site at the time where it's working about, how do we remove this requirement? How do we get rid of this chase plane so that we can fly truly beyond the line of sight? So we actually we built a a concept of operation with that FAA radar.

And many people may not know, but, actually, air traffic control doesn't use the raw data from these radars. They don't actually look at what's called primary radar.

They use secondary radar that's kind of fused with, transponders and other information. So we actually work to get the the raw radar data so that we could see all aircraft, not just transponder equipped ones, but also, like, those crop dusters and and, you know, other types of aircraft that aren't aren't equipped. And so long story short, we we did all this testing. Right? We had to kinda understand how the radar works, its performance, how far it can see, how low it can see. And then we had to test the display. So how is that data displayed to a pilot?

How to come make that easy? And then we kinda tested the procedures. Right? So if we know an aircraft's coming, what do we do? Do we descend? Do we maneuver? And and we kinda ran all these encounters.

And so experiences like that, and and everybody on this kind of regulatory team has those. Experiences like that have have kinda driven how we viewed airspace awareness, and this approach that I described.

And so and then we we actually kind of see two types of airspace awareness. It it really should be kind of looked at as two different use cases, that sometimes use the same technology, but, you know, have different objectives. And so, you know, if you're an agency kind of, you know, evaluating this technology, we we would just ask that you kind of consider maybe two different types of use cases and how the the technology needs may be different. So one type of, airspace and awareness is what we might call counter UAS. So it's it's that need to know what's flying around things like airports and jails and special events and and the White House, for example.

And your objectives there are typically to detect, track, identify, you know, is this friend or foe and then mitigate potentially.

But the second type of use case is more about the on-site operations.

So that's kind of what we were just describing. So flying without visually being able to see around the drone.

And the objectives kind of start the same, so you're still trying to detect and track, you know, what's around my drone and and what's flying.

But it's it's just slightly different than kind of Nuance than what you do after that. So now you're evaluating is that is that aircraft, going to fly right over me, right right next to my drone or not? And then do I need to maneuver? You know, do I need to descend or come home or do something to give right away?

And so based on kind of that understanding, the Skyler regulatory team, like, we're completely focused on number two. We're completely focused on enabling the on-site operations for our customers, in a safe, scalable, and effective way. And so that's kind of really what's driven that strategy then to shield the DFR operations in ADS B.

And that's for a couple reasons. So number one, ADS B technology relative to some of these other sensors is very inexpensive. So, you can oftentimes cover, you know, a jurisdiction with just one ADSB receiver or maybe, you know, two or three, But it's a relatively small number compared to, for example, like, a radar that might have a five to seven mile range. You might need multiples of those. And so the cost kinda really ramps up from there, and you end up with a system that's, at least two times, you know, more expensive or or orders of magnitude. Sorry. Two two times more order of magnitude expensive than, ADS B technology.

And then in the middle here so ADS B technology ends up being quite simple to use compared to some of these other systems. So the data from ADS B, it comes directly from a, GPS source, and oftentimes that's WASS GPS. So it's very accurate.

And so the pilot can can know kind of exactly where aircraft are, how high they are, how fast they're moving, and so on. And so with that really good information then, we can display that and make, kinda make things that are easy for the pilot to to make decisions based on.

And that's kinda compared to a system like radar, for example. There's, you know, some some companies will kind of say that their their radars are really good at detecting birds, and they see things like that. And, we call that ground clutter with radar. So radars are are actually almost, like, too good at seeing things. They see birds. They see, semi trucks and, like, cars driving down roads.

They see basically anything that's, like, big enough to reflect that radar energy back. And so if you have all that data, now it becomes kind of challenging to actually interpret that. So the pilot may have to interpret. Is that radar target I see? Is that a bird or a drone or or helicopter?

And that just adds a lot of workload and and kind of complexity to how to use those systems, compared to ADS B.

And then finally, appropability. So we're actually seeing a lot of positive trends with our approach.

I described how we're already enabling this under part one seven waivers today, these similar types of approaches.

And so, you know, we're seeing just a lot of momentum around, flying lower altitudes, leveraging ADS B technology to avoid aircraft.

And that's kinda compared to, again, some of these noncooperative sensors where, you know, there have been approvals, certainly, but they they've tended to be a little bit more kind of one off and not necessarily scalable.

And we just haven't quite seen yet that that point, that tipping point where the FAA is is willing to improve these widely.

So, again, just kinda more reasons why, why our approach has kind of been geared the way it has been. So one question here is, how does Skydio assist agencies in navigating, like, these programs?

Or another way to say it maybe is, like, how do you help agencies kind of navigate through this and climb that mountain? So we do a couple ways, but, we do, obviously, kind of informational things like this, webinars.

We also have a lot of one on one conversations with agencies where we can kind of deep dive this and and look at it relative to an agency's specific area and goals.

And we do offer a service actually around helping agencies, pursue these approvals as well. And so that that service, kind of at a high level, it's roughly four steps. So we would do a kickoff with the agency, and and that's where we're, like, looking at the jurisdiction in the airspace. We're kind of really looking at the details, the goals of the program, where we might deploy docs, for example.

And then the regulatory team, we, go off and develop an FAA request package, for the agencies. We put together, some kind of technical documents that describe the safety case, the risk assessment, the the safety features of the system, and so on.

And And then we review that with the agency and help them submit it to the FAA.

And then finally, we're there you know, as the FAA is reviewing that, we're there to help answer questions if there are any. You know?

And then when even once it's approved, you know, too, we're we're helping the agency kind of interpret their coa, you know, answer questions if they have any on that. So, that's kind of a quick high level overview of, like, how we're helping agencies, navigate through this today.

K. I have another questionnaire. Are observers looking out for planes, helicopters, or other things? Yeah. So the visual observer's job, since the pilot is not there anymore to kind of see their drone and then scan that airspace around it to to see if there's hazards, that becomes the visual observer's job. So they're looking for, you know, low flying aircraft. That could be helicopters, airplanes.

It's not so prevalent with DFR, but I'll kinda speak broadly to, like, crop dusters if it's if it's more of a rural area that they're flying in.

So the observer is kind of scanning the airspace for those. And if they see, one of those, you know, things flying around, helicopter, they they do need to kinda make a decision. Like, is this helicopter, does it appear to kinda be just flying at at my drone, at the drone, or is it just way off in the distance and it's, you know, not getting closer, it's not converging?

But it's their responsibility to communicate that to the pilot then. You know, hey. I see a helicopter. It's, you know, off to your north.

Or, hey. There's there's a helicopter coming inbound, you know, and recommend you you descend immediately. So it's their job to look for that and communicate that, to the pilot.

What models of Skydio drones are recommended for DFR use? So, today I mean so, really, both our x two and our x ten. I mean, our x ten is really, purpose built for this.

So we certainly would recommend that one. But as you saw, like, in the OKC PE video, you know, agencies are using X2 today. They're using it in both, like, their patrol ad initiatives, but they're also, starting to do some DFR with it with our, x two dot product. So, you know, I think I think what what what we wanna just get across is, you know, you don't have to wait necessarily. Like, DFR can be conducted today, with x two.

It can be conducted today with x ten, and it's only gonna get better, as our products, continue to evolve and we get closer to that next generation dock as well, which we're really excited about.

And that, oh, one more here. With AR street overlay, can you add custom labels to buildings?

I'm actually not sure about that about that question, but I think what we'll do with that one is is, take it and follow-up afterwards.

So we'll get our product team on that.

And we're always looking for feedback. So if it's, not something we do do today, I'm sure the feedback team will be, product team will be taking notes on that. So, we'll get back on that one.

So I think that's actually the last question.

So I think with that, we'll kind of sign off here. I'll just wrap that up. So, again, really, thanks for for everybody's, you know, attention and taking time out of your day to attend the webinar here, learn a little bit more about the approach for DFR.

My colleague, actually, Daniel Jenkins, he's gonna be doing a similar webinar on July twenty fifth, and that's gonna be focused more on the utilities and kinda commercial side with partners and waivers. So, if you're interested in learning about that as well, you're you're welcome to, mark that on the calendar.

Again, that's July twenty fifth.

I also got a note that the recording is gonna be available afterwards, and that'll get sent out.

And so I think, to kinda wrap up the day, we're just gonna play maybe one last video to wrap up the webinar. So, again, thanks everybody for joining, and we'll see you on the next one.

It's been six months since we shipped our first x tens.

A lot of those drones are going to public safety customers, so I wanted to give everyone an update on what's happening in the market.

We're at just an incredibly exciting time for drones in public safety. The impact is phenomenal, and now we're seeing the scale and scope of deployments get to another level. We're seeing agencies like Las Vegas Metro Police Department lean into the patrol led model where they're putting drones in the trunks of more vehicles so they can be available on more scenes. We're seeing NYPD NYPD do full drone as first responder with Skydio drones flying out of docks autonomously in response to nine one one calls. We're seeing just incredible stuff on a daily basis from all of our customers having life saving impact with drones.

So we've got a lot of great product out there in the wild now. I wanna give you an update on what's coming next from a product perspective. We're about to ship our spotlight accessory, which pairs beautifully with NightSense to give the drone and the operator perfect visibility in zero light environments by illuminating the scene, gonna ship our speaker and microphone accessory which gives you bi directional communication to help deescalate the most dangerous situations. And then on top of all of this, we're doing more with the lights that are already built into X ten. So you'll be able to configure them to do flashing red and blues just like you see on a police car, as well as strobe for better aviation safety.

Skydio drones have always had the ability to do live streaming, but now we're taking it to the next level with ReadyLink.

ReadyLink makes it super easy for the pilot or the operator to create a link and share that live stream with whoever needs it instantly. You just create the link, you can use a QR code, you send it out, and everybody on your team instantly gets access to that same live stream data.

Another area where we've invested quite a bit is on our integrations. So we have APIs that make it possible to get geospatial data from other systems into Skydio Cloud. This enables you to do things like get real time CAD events, location of nine one one calls coming in, along with the location of other officers, maybe from their body camera. And then on top of this, we're adding a feature we call fly here now, which does exactly what it sounds like. It just sends the drone to that location. And this means that you can dispatch drones to the incoming location of calls or to the location of responding officers.

One of the features that I'm most excited about that our team built is this side by side view with a three d map that's oriented with the same point of view with the drone's camera. So this gives you the ability to see street names as well as other augmented reality information like the location of that call or the location live feed, which takes situational awareness just up to that next level. As I mentioned, we already have doing dock based operations in public safety, but the thing that's really gonna complete this story is the dock for x ten, which I am touching right now. You can't see it, but it's coming later this year.

So look, it's a super exciting time for the market and we know there are competing solutions out there. It's no secret that DJI makes really good hardware, and there's other companies that have tried to Frankenstein together a DFR solution on top of DJI drones. But at their core, DJI drones are designed to be manually flown.

One of the things that we we think is really important for a successful DFR program to reach scale is autonomy, which is of course something we bet really big on at Skydio and we continue to lead the way on. But another concept that we're finding to be increasingly important is the tight integration of the hardware and the software to run a DFR program. So we design the drones, the docks, the autonomy software running on board, the connectivity, the cloud streaming, the management, all of these things together to work seamlessly, which generally makes it easier for our customers to adopt and scale.

Of course, DFR programs don't stand alone, and the other thing that we focused on is partnering with the leading public safety technology company out there, Axon, to deliver the complete solution. We generally think about drones being the spoke that you wanna plug into your existing information hub. We We've got a lot of great hardware and software out there today. As you heard about, there's more coming down the pipeline and there's a lot more behind that. But at the end of the day, the technology isn't what matters most. What matters is the impact this stuff is actually having, and it is such an honor for us to get to partner and work closely with agencies that are deploying this technology on a daily basis to help save lives, help protect their communities, help keep everybody safer, and that's the journey that we're on with you.

+ Read More

Watch More

Live Remote 5G DFR Demonstration - Patrol-Led Drone as First Responder (DFR)
Posted Mar 23, 2024 | Views 709
# Patrol-Led DFR
# First Responders
# Remote Operations