BVLOS – The drone industry’s next game changer

Get ready for the future with SmartPlanes Freya UAV

Why BVLOS?

BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flights represent a huge opportunity for the drone industry and therefore BVLOS is also a top priority for SmartPlanes. The main benefit with BVLOS is to cover larger areas without the need for the pilot or observers to keep an eye on the drone at all times, thereby improving the economics and efficiency of commercial operations.

Basically any commercial UAV application could benefit from BVLOS as a more efficient and cost-effective solution. Some applications are almost impossible to effectively execute without BVLOS to gather useful, actionable knowledge.

  • Corridor mapping
  • Forest fires
  • Search and rescue (SaR)
  • Large scale precision agriculture
  • Conservation Management
  • Forestry
  • Oil and gas pipeline monitoring
  • Power grid monitoring
  • Border control
  • Wildlife monitoring
  • Insurance inspections of damage due to hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes etc.

Without a BVLOS ready UAV, all of these applications are limited by the physical location of the pilot and visual observers. Its apparent how being able to fly beyond what you can see would make the flight much, much more valuable and cost effective. Another consideration is flying in areas where dense tree cover or mountains or other topographical variations make it impossible to see very far.

Get ready for the future with SmartPlanes Freya UAV

With its excellent endurance, safety and terrain following abilities combined with the capacity to fly long distances, SmartPlanes Freya UAV is tailor made for BVLOS operations.

Today Freya can travel at around 50 Kilometers (31 Miles) per hour for 1 hour and 40 minutes, which means 70 km (44 Miles) of range. This is outstanding for a hand-launched micro drone compared to other multirotors or fixed-wing drones in the market. Our goal is to reach a 2 hour flight time within the near future giving Freya up to 100 km (62 miles) reach in a single flight! Freya is completely autonomous and will perform its mission and land on its own after being launched.

At SmartPLanes we believe that BVLOS is the future, and therefore we have developed drones that are future-proof!

BVLOS is already allowed in many countries

Contrary to what many believe many countries have already adopted new rules and regulations allowing for BVLOS flights under certain restrictions. In France BVLOS flights was allowed already in 2012.

Other countries adopting the future for UAVs are China, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland and France. Most countries in Europe are expecting to allow BVLOS flight in the near future based on common regulatory frameworks currently being developed under supervision by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).

BVLOS is however yet not allowed in the US but both authorities like the FAA and the industry is preparing for it in the near future with NASA’s UTM project as a good example. Building on its legacy of work in air traffic management for crewed aircraft, NASA is researching prototype technologies for a UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system that could develop airspace integration requirements for enabling safe, efficient low-altitude operations. Read more here. 

SmartPlanes is one of the companies participating in building the future UTM system for the US together with NASA.

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