Author: HAZON DMS™

Customers will benefit from an enhanced service model as the partnership combines Aeryon’s proven SkyRanger Unmanned Aircraft Systems with HAZON’s expertise conducting aerial infrastructure inspections for Fortune 500 utility and industrial clients.

 

14 June, WATERLOO – Aeryon Labs Inc, a leading manufacturer of high-performance Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for military, public safety, and commercial customers, today announced its partnership with HAZON Solutions, a drone service provider focused on commercial infrastructure inspections for energy and utility customers throughout North America.

“As utilities learn more about the cybersecurity risks inherent with operating drones, they are increasingly turning to Aeryon UAS to inspect their transmission towers, power plants, pipelines, and other critical infrastructure assets,” said Bill McHale, CEO of Aeryon Labs.

“Aeryon’s SkyRanger UAS, coupled with HAZON’s expert pilots, instructors, and support staff, provides a secure drone-based inspection solution for energy and utility customers.”

–Bill McHale, CEO of Aeryon Labs

 

“HAZON’s primary focus is delivering best-in-breed inspection services to those companies with significant investments in critical infrastructure,” said David Culler, CEO and Co-Founder of HAZON Solutions. “Aeryon’s high-performance UAS that address security concerns will prove valuable to many of our clients. By merging the best hardware technology on the market with the best industry service provider – we afford our clients with a complete end-to-end solution for secure aerial inspections at scale.”

As a trusted Aeryon reseller, HAZON will now also be able to directly support utility and industrial customers that may be looking to build their own UAS program using SkyRanger UAS.

Aeryon and HAZON will be exhibiting together at the Energy Drone Coalition Summit in Houston, TX on June 20th. For more information visit Aeryon and HAZON at booths 307 and 309.

About Aeryon

Aeryon Labs is a leading manufacturer of high-performance Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Aeryon provides complete UAS solutions that include hardware, software, training and support for military, public safety and commercial customers through its network of subsidiaries, resellers and partners in Canada, the U.S., the EU, the Middle East and Asia-Pac. Aeryon’s SkyRanger UAS sets the standard for delivering real-time, secure, aerial intelligence across a wide range of applications from tactical missions, to search and rescue operations, to critical infrastructure inspections and more. Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Aeryon strives to hire and retain unique individuals with expertise in autonomous robotics, visual control systems, artificial intelligence and analytical software to serve our customers in over 30 countries. Visit aeryon.com to learn more.

About HAZON

HAZON Solutions is a national drone service provider focused on critical infrastructure inspections for Fortune 500 utility and industrial clients. We leverage a combined 80 years of combat aviation experience ­ to deliver industry-leading drone based solutions to help organizations increase reliability and decrease downtime due to maintenance and inspections while also mitigating risk to personnel. Our primary focus is delivering inspection services to those companies with significant investments in critical infrastructure. We leverage our aviation expertise to collect actionable data that is otherwise difficult, dangerous or costly to gather. For organizations that want to build out an organic drone program, we offer professional aviation consulting as well as basic and advanced flight training. To complement our consulting and training services, we have developed fleet management software for professional drone operations – Drone Management System. The mission of HAZON Solutions is to deliver actionable information that enhances our client’s efficiency and reliability by executing and enabling unmanned flight operations founded on naval aviation principles.

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Media Contact

Ed Hine HAZON Solutions | Vice President – BD and Marketing
ed@hazonsolutions.com
757-962-9000 (o)

Additional Links

HAZON Solutions
HAZON DMS

Download Full Release Here

FROM VIRGINIA TECH NEWS, ARTICLE BY ELEANOR NELSON & MICHAEL STOWE

May 9, 2018

Virginia’s successful bid for a spot in the Department of Transportation’s UAS Integration Pilot Program is the latest evidence of the state’s dominance in a growing field.

It’s also good news for the commonwealth’s residents, who will have a strong voice in the conversations unfolding around drones and their benefits.

Through the program, the Virginia team will seek expedited flight permissions from the Federal Aviation Administration to perform some of the most complex flight testing ever attempted in the U.S.

“I have been happy to work closely with Virginia Tech and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership for several years now in promoting the safe use and development of drones in Virginia,” said Sen. Mark Warner, who supported the state’s application.

“Today’s award is recognition that this team has assembled some of the strongest expertise in the nation and has put forward a proposal that will prove critical to shared efforts to safely integrate drones into our communities and airspace. I congratulate the team for winning this slot, and thank Secretary Chao (U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao) and the FAA for giving us the opportunity to continue Virginia’s leadership in this field,” Warner said.

Over the next three years, the team will explore applications of drone technology that stand to offer Virginians significant benefits, including package delivery, emergency management, and infrastructure inspection.

The pilot will also focus on gathering feedback from the communities where testing takes place about their experiences with the program, so that technology and regulations can continue to serve the needs of the public as they evolve.

Virginia’s successful bid was led by the state’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority and the Center for Innovative Technology. The Virginia Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence, the Virginia Department of Aviation, the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority, the Virginia Department of State Police, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and Virginia Tech round out the list of state organizations involved.

The state’s proposal was bolstered by support from a bipartisan coalition, including Sen. Warner and Reps. Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith, and Barbara Comstock.

“The use of drones has the potential to revolutionize a number of fields. The work done through the collaborative partnerships of the UAS Integration Pilot Program will help provide important data on how to most safely and effectively utilize this technology,” said Goodlatte. “Virginia is leading the way in innovation, and I was happy to join Congressman Griffith and Congresswoman Comstock in supporting Virginia’s bid. I look forward to seeing the work that the great minds at Virginia Tech and across the commonwealth will do as part of this program.”

The day-to-day operations of the program in Virginia will be managed by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), which has accumulated significant expertise running one of only seven federal test sites for unmanned aircraft systems. The organization has built a reputation for facilitating groundbreaking testing while upholding the most rigorous standards of safety.

“The days aren’t far off when millions of drones will be flying in the airspace,” said Mark Blanks, MAAP’s director. “When you’re looking at an expansion of that scale, it’s critical to make sure it’s being handled carefully and safely. We’re grateful to the DOT and the FAA for creating this program, which recognizes the benefits drones have to offer and seeks to identify ways to balance the needs of operators and the public. It’s a perfect fit with the safety-case work we’re known for, and Virginia’s team is a great one to take it on.”

Corporate partners joining Virginia include Project Wing, Intel, AT&T, Airbus Aerial, State Farm, Dominion Energy, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and HAZON Solutions.

“Unmanned aircraft systems hold great potential for commercial use, and Virginia is charting the path forward,” said Rep. Morgan Griffith. “The commonwealth’s inclusion in the Integration Pilot Program will help bring the benefits of drone technology closer to everyday application.”

Project Wing is a part of Alphabet’s moonshot factory, X. The group worked with MAAP in 2016 for their first autonomous drone delivery test with members of the public in the U.S. and returned in June 2017 to take part in testing convened by NASA and the FAA to test unmanned air traffic management systems. MAAP has also worked with Dominion and HAZON on a number of infrastructure-inspection projects and with Sinclair Broadcast Group on a unique aerial-journalism training program.

Six Virginia counties — Buckingham, Cumberland, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince Edward, and Wise — participated in the proposal and are poised to become future hubs of innovation for drone technology.

“This is an important day for all of Virginia,” said Ed Albrigo, the chief executive officer of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority and the Center for Innovative Technology. “This work will be foundational to a rapidly growing innovation ecosystem in unmanned systems throughout Virginia, benefiting communities across the commonwealth and the nation overall.”


Read the full article here

HAZON PrecisionHawk Partnership BVLOS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Virginia Beach, VA — May 1, 2018 — HAZON Solutions (“HAZON”) and PrecisionHawk today announced a strategic partnership where HAZON will serve as the preferred training partner for PrecisionHawk’s Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) waiver consulting program.

HAZON PrecisionHawk Partnership BVLOS“This partnership is the perfect marriage of resources between two best-in-breed companies,” said HAZON CEO and co-founder David A. Culler, Jr. CAPT, USN (ret.).  “Under the FAA Pathfinder Program, PrecisionHawk has developed a strong safety case for enterprises to conduct BVLOS drone operations, of which training and crew experience are a key component, two services where HAZON excels.”

While BVLOS flight operations offer an exponential increase in return on investment over traditional visual line of sight (VLOS) drone flight operations or manned aircraft operations, expanding the area of operation by up to 50 miles, pilots must have sufficient experience in VLOS and receive BVLOS-specific training. Under the Pathfinder fieldwork, PrecisionHawk recommends a practical performance evaluation (in-field test) and at least 15 to 20 hours of VLOS flight before BVLOS is attempted.

 This …is not a test case or a proof of concept – we will be enabling
production-level, routine BVLOS flight for commercial operations.”

– Tyler Collins, VP Airspace Services at PrecisionHawk

 

“BVLOS flight operations require significant hands on training due to the inherently complex technical and operational requirements,” said Tyler Collins, VP airspace services at PrecisionHawk. “This partnership with HAZON is not a test case or a proof of concept –  we will be enabling production-level, routine BVLOS flight for commercial operations.”

HAZON plans to facilitate the already-growing backlog of training requirements by expanding their training team and opening regional training centers.  Details on expansion locations and hiring will be released in coming months.

“The HAZON-PrecisionHawk team is a natural alliance based on our shared vision and approach to enabling advanced drone operations,” said HAZON VP business development Ed Hine.  “We’re looking forward to the opportunities that BVLOS flight unlocks for our industry.  There is no doubt that this is an enormous step for the unmanned aviation community.”

About HAZON

HAZON Solutions is a drone service provider focused on critical infrastructure inspections for Fortune 500 utility and industrial clients. HAZON leverages a combined 80 years of combat aviation experience to deliver industry leading drone based solutions to help organizations increase reliability and decrease down time due to maintenance and inspections while also mitigating risk to personnel. HAZON’s primary focus is delivering inspection services to those companies with significant investments in critical infrastructure. HAZON leverages our aviation expertise to collect actionable data that is otherwise difficult, dangerous or costly to gather. For organizations that want to build out an organic drone program, HAZON offers professional aviation consulting as well as basic and advanced flight training. To complement the consulting and training services, HAZON has developed fleet management software for professional drone operations – Drone Management System™.

About PrecisionHawk

PrecisionHawk is a leading provider of drone technology for the enterprise. PrecisionHawk’s client list includes Fortune 500 companies and market leaders in 150 countries, spanning a range of industries, including agriculture, energy, insurance, government and construction. To date, PrecisionHawk has raised more than $100 million from leading venture capital firms including Third Point Ventures and Millennium Technology Value Partners, with strategic investments from enterprise customers and partners including Comcast Ventures, DuPont, Intel Capital, NTT Docomo, and Yamaha Motor. The company, founded in 2010, is privately held and headquartered in Raleigh, NC. More information about PrecisionHawk can be found at www.precisionhawk.com or on Twitter.

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Media Contact

Ed Hine HAZON Solutions | Vice President – BD and Marketing
ed@hazonsolutions.com
757-962-9000 (o)

Additional Links

HAZON Solutions
HAZON DMS

Download Full Release Here

9 Features your Drone Management Software Should Have and Why

Running a drone operation is not easy.  Aside from the everyday business challenges, program leaders face shifting demands from the drone industry. Technology developments are accelerating, regulations are in a constant state of flux, and of course, the big data issue.

Luckily there are software solutions that can help you keep a handle on the flight operations side of your program.  Below are a couple of features that your software solutions should have, use this list as a tool to evaluate them:

1. Flight Logging

Bread and butter flight operations management.  You have to be able to log flights quickly and easily.  There are no substitutes here; this is a core function that should be go/no-go criteria.  The question will not be if the software does or does not do this, but how well does it do it?  Does the software have single point reporting?  Does the software attribute flight hours to both aircraft and personnel at the same time?

Drone Flight logging

2. Maintenance Logging

Again, core function here.  The question will be how well does the software do the job?  Does the software accrue hours to the appropriate aircraft?  Does it track periodic or routine / scheduled maintenance (think oil changes on your car)?  Can you track maintenance issues on your aircraft and log corrective actions?  Does it display the information in an intuitive, easy to decipher way?

Drone Maintenance dashboard

3. Quick Field Reporting

A universal truth of services-based work (like drone flight operations), your teams are going to prioritize getting work done over reporting on their work.  If the reporting functions are cumbersome or lengthy, they will be skipped.  Reporting must be fast, easy, painless and accessible from pretty much any location.

Daily report

4. Project Planning

If you run a drone program, then you are likely knee deep in operational planning at some level.  To keep a drone program moving you must be able to pair up pilots, equipment and customer requirements – ideally balancing multiple projects at the same time with airspace awareness.

project planning

5. Equipment Agnostic

It seems simple, but can your solution handle multiple aircraft manufacturers without changing the processes your business uses?  With the accelerating rate of tech rollouts, we currently estimate the lifespan of an aircraft to be around 18 months.  If you must change hardware that often (and possibly or maybe even probably hardware manufacturers) do you also want to change software too?  Make sure your software can handle any manufacturers equipment.

Equipment agnostic

6. Certification Tracking

Not all of your drone pilots are created equally.  Some are more qualified than others – make sure you can easily track who is qualified for what.  As your operation increases in scale and complexity, easy to read and intuitive tracking of personnel will pay dividends.  Also look at the ability to track routine training.  If you are running a professional drone operation, you probably recognize a need for periodic training.  Does the software monitor your personnel’s certifications?  Can it alert you when renewal training are due?

certification tracking

7. Remote Real-time Tracking

You have got a complicated operation on your hands.  Drone teams out getting work done, customers calling for new jobs.  Flight reports, data to analyze, invoices and purchase orders.  Undoubtedly, you have many moving parts to keep track of. Ask yourself this quick question – do you know where each aircraft is right now?  Would you like to?

real time tracking

8. Weather Integration

UAV operations is a weather dependent business; there’s no doubting that.  At a minimum, your software should provide a high-level overview of the current weather in the area you plan to fly.

Weather integration

9. Airspace Awareness

Airspace integration is now affectively table stakes for drone software.  Airspace regulation is a complicated issue, which is further complicated by FAA regulations and the oft-updated TFRs.  Does your software display current airspace in an easy to see format?  How quickly do TFRs update?

 

Our Drone Management System™ (DMS) is a secure, patent pending, web-based application that provides any drone operator, whether a hobbyist or a corporation with hundreds of drones, with a fast and easy way to manage a fleet of UAVs. Users can input flight logs, aircraft maintenance needs and daily activities into HAZON DMS™ through the user-friendly software. Supervisors can view all entered information from a desktop computer or mobile device, without the worry of updating multiple spreadsheets. Your business will run more efficiently and effectively allowing you to realize a better return on the investments you’ve made in training and equipment. Read on to see how feature-rich HAZON DMS™ can make your workflow smoother, faster and more accurate. Learn more about our Drone Management System™ (DMS).

 

 

BVLOS is Coming Are You Ready

BVLOS is Coming – Are You Ready?

BVLOS is Coming – Are You Ready?

As businesses continue to incorporate UAS into their operations, we need to be aware of the inherent barriers that are likely to arise when bringing BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flight operations to scale. In this article, I will address the possible barriers that businesses will need to prepare for to unlock the tremendous potential of BVLOS flight operations.

UAS Applications BVLOS

The Part 107 regulation in August of 2016 ushered in a second unmanned aircraft revolution, or at the very last marked the second revolution of the UAS space.  Yes, there were many companies (mine included) flying on Part 333 waivers well before Aug ’16, but the absolute explosion in commercial drone pilots since then makes my case.  This is not to say that the FAA has led us as an industry to the promised land, far from it.  More accurately, the timing was right regarding technological advances, societal acceptance, and economic conditions.  Very clearly the FAA was moving in the right direction, but if we are, to be honest, the prevailing currents were moving that way quickly too.

Many are moving aggressively in the wake created by the Pathfinder program, and understandably so.  We are already beginning to see the impact of drones on the operational side of many businesses. Most organizations are dutifully focused on risk mitigation, safety cases, sense and avoid capabilities, and flight characteristics. However, many overlook a few essential details that are likely to be barriers when bringing operations to production.   Below is a list of things that are likely to be barriers to bring BVLOS flight operations to production scale.  Crack the code here, and you will ensure a long ride on the next revolution of the UAS industry.

Back to the second revolution stuff.  Enabled by the now virtually complete Pathfinder Program, companies like BNSF and PrecisionHawk are well positioned to lead the way where BVLOS is concerned. PrecisionHawk has even introduced a BVLOS consulting offering that looks to help other organizations get into the game.

 

The third revolution is coming, is your business ready?

 

Command & Control (C2)

It is all about the C2 – the first question the inexperienced are likely to ask about any given UAS is, “How long can it fly?”  Folks with some experience in the space tend to focus more on the sensor package of an aircraft. No doubt both are important, but the linkage between the ground control station and the aircraft – known as command and control (C2) – overwhelmingly trumps the first.

Within our industry, we have hardware builders that focus solely on transitional vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), and these manufacturers are habitually breaking flight endurance records.  With flight times measured in double-digit hours, how long is far less important than how far; the bottleneck for distance is C2.  How far can your radio reach and still sustain your proscribed risk mitigation strategies?

Hardware Quality

We have been living in an era where daily flight times are quite low, even for a very high-volume operation.  Wear and tear on airframes is quite minimal.  That will be changing directly.  In a BVLOS context, aircraft are going to stack up flight time far more rapidly.  UAS operations will be forced to look at crew rest in a new way providing multiple pilots for individual flights as those times stretch well past the limits of pilot fatigue.  A premium must be placed on aircraft production quality.  How many drone-based solutions have you seen that looked great on paper and in ideal conditions but failed to prove their worth in the real world production quality.   It was production quality that forced our operation to retire our S-1000 fleet early; we just couldn’t keep tearing apart arms to replace tiny rubber dampeners, the lost time was too much to bear.  It is high production quality that will minimize maintenance downtime and maximize return on investment.  It is not enough for a UAS to demonstrate a single 10-hour flight out to 50 miles and back.  To build a business, the same UAS must repeat that feat, daily.

Data Management

So you go out and get your BVLOS waiver.  You square away your C2 plan, and you have sourced the best possible hardware solution.  Stand by for a data problem.  You are about to start generating a literal flood of data.  What’s your plan?  What’s your back up plan?  How are you processing and delivering your data to the end-user?  Tough questions.  The good news is there are more than a few companies working to help you solve the problem.

A few recommendations:

  • Be laser focused on your end-users’ What do are they asking for? What are they paying you for?  What do they need to be more efficient at their job?  Use those questions to help you pick a data analytics provider.
  • Back up your data, back it up early, back it up often.
  • Don’t try to change the way your customers do business, integrate with their current operations instead. Accommodating how they handle data already will ensure that you are not asking them to change a business process which could be an emotional event.
  • Don’t make assumptions about how you are going to get data out of the field. I do not care what they say; hotel WiFi will not support gigabytes of data transfer – I am looking at you Holiday Inn.  Telling your crews to just upload the data to your cloud at the end of flight ops for the day is a recipe for tired, angry, frustrated pilots.

Minimize Infrastructure

To squeeze the full benefit out of BVLOS flight operations, you are going to need to move around a lot, plain and simple.  The US military has been employing small UAS for years from semi-prepared sites with the luxury of massive, towable, launch and recovery equipment and cumbersome directional antennas.  That is not going to work for most UAS operators.  When picking a hardware solution take a critical look at setup and teardown time.  Minimize your infrastructure requirement to the max extent possible so you can maximize your flight time and therefore your flight coverage and data generation.

The scene is set for hundreds of industries to be revolutionized by the advancement of drone technology, and it is easy to see why. The progress of this industry provides a means to perform everyday jobs faster, safer, and less expensive. The commercial sector has the most significant potential for long-term growth. Without proper planning and preparation, your organization will miss the window to get ahead of the game and remain competitive in your market.  The UAS business is deceptively hard to scale well.  While BVLOS operations will undoubtedly provide ample opportunities across many industries, it will also present new challenges as well.  The time is now to prepare for the third revolution.

 


 

Drone Equipment Forecasting Battery Life-Cycles

Can you predict when your equipment will fail? As a regular part of our maintenance program, we maintain a close eye on our batteries, one of the critical safety of flight elements of most unmanned aircraft.  The total cycles (a single charge and discharge) have proven to be the most useful single metric for tracking wear and tear, tracking these in DMS has proven invaluable.  HAZON, at our core is an end-to-end drone service provider.  Access to relevant data on the performance and lifecycle of the equipment that enables your work is absolutely critical to any business.

We recently took an opportunity to do a study on the useful life of a sampling of some of our batteries.  In this article, we will consider TB48D batteries in use on our DJI Matrice 100 fleet.  By way of background, we have over four dozen TB48D batteries in service; this study examines a random sampling of those beyond their 50% life expectancy.

The ten batteries we investigated in this study were flown exclusively on Matrice 100s with a Zenmuse Z30 camera installed and configured for a single TB48D battery. The usage period was about six months. Our configuration, flight operations tempo and business demands result in a harder than preferred life of our batteries.

In consideration of this study, it is important to note that HAZON Solutions specializes in providing drone based services and training and not on maximizing hardware life-cycle. Often times the needs of our business’s operations requires a harder than preferred usage of our equipment.

Data Set

SET 1:

Batteries that indicated 25% remaining

SET 2:

 Batteries that indicated 37% Remaining

TB48D #1, Current Cycles:135 TB48D #6, Current Cycles:110
TB48D #2, Current Cycles:125 TB48D #7, Current Cycles:108
TB48D #3, Current Cycles:132 TB48D #8, Current Cycles:108
TB48D #4, Current Cycles:127 TB48D #9, Current Cycles:120
TB48D #5, Current Cycles:126 TB48D #10, Current Cycles:108
 

*Calculations used for SET 1:

  • SUM:(TB48D#1-5 Current Cycles) =129 Avg. Used Cycles
  • 129 Avg. Used Cycles / 75% (*Battery life used*) = 172 Lifetime Cycles
  • 172 Lifetime Cycles X 25% (*Remaining Life*) = 43 Avg. Estimated Remaining Cycles
  • 172 Lifetime Cycles – 129 Avg. Used Cycles = 43 Avg. Estimated Remaining Cycles
 

*Calculations used for SET 2:

  • SUM:(TB48D#1-5 Current Cycles) =111 Avg. Used Cycles
  • 111 Avg Used Cycles / 63% *Battery life used* = 176 Lifetime Cycles
  • 176 Lifetime Cycles X 37% *Remaining Life* = 65 Avg. Estimated Remaining Cycles
  • 176 Lifetime Cycles – 111 Avg Used Cycles = 65 Avg. Estimated Remaining Cycles
Result: 172 Lifetime Cycles on a TB48D Result: 176 Lifetime Cycles on a TB48D
*Comparative Calculations

(172 *SET 1: Lifetime Cycles* + 176 *SET 2: Lifetime Cycles*) / 2 = 174 Avg. Total Cycles Before End of Battery Life (0%)

Final Result
TB48D Batteries will last approximately 174 Charging Cycles
before indicating 0% Battery Life Remaining

Contribution Factors

Multiple factors influenced the data set that we developed. One equipment related factor was that these batteries were charged using a DJI Hex Charger.  Hex chargers charge at a higher amperage than a standard 100-Watt charger, this could potentially reduce lifetime of the battery. From an environmental standpoint, the batteries were used in temperatures ranging from 20°F to 110°F. This factor should also impact battery life. Two additional factors to note; the operational tempo required the batteries to be cycled 2-3 times per day, and the batteries were often flown from a full charge down to 20-15% of battery power remaining.  As previously noted, this is not a study in how to extend the life of a battery, but rather a practical observation of the life cycle of a battery in a high-volume flight operation.

ObservationsDrone battery life-cycles

For the ten test case batteries, the endurance of the batteries remained within reasonable limits (approximately 15-20 minutes of flight time dependent on conditions) for approximately the first 100 cycles. Approaching 100 cycles of use the crews began noticing a degradation in battery performance. Crew members also reported reduced flight time and abnormal discharge rates. As crews approached 25% remaining battery life (as reported by the built in smart battery features), the endurance of the batteries dropped dramatically to the point where the batteries had to be pulled from service due to significant drops in voltage during flight.

From these observations, we determined that lithium polymer batteries follow the traditional wisdom of non-linear functions up to the 100-cycle point. The chart below shows that endurance remains relatively unchanged for approximately the first 100 cycles of usage. After 100 cycles the tolerance of the battery begins to diminish at an increasingly rapidly rate until the battery is no longer usable.

Conclusions

The overall result of our study affirmed the need for three critical operational functions:

  • A Remove from Service protocol
  • A battery life-cycle tracking system
  • A life cycle forecasting system

This study allowed HAZON to easily update our existing Remove from Service protocol.  We identified that TB48D batteries have a lifetime of 174 cycles through our usage cycle and that at approximately 100 cycles the battery performance began to decrease noticeably. Using these two data points, and applying an appropriate safety margin, our maintenance team decided that batteries should not be used beyond 90% of their total life. Based on the findings in this study we have amended our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to dictate that once a TB48D battery reaches 155 cycles that the battery will be immediately removed from operational service and relegated to low-risk training or testing.

We also identified a need for companies to track battery life cycles outside of the internal tracking of the batteries themselves. At HAZON, we rely on the HAZON Drone Management System (DMS) – a fleet management software for enterprise drone operations that provides operators and managers a single platform for all project-based planning and tracking of your fleet operations. Most importantly, HAZON DMS allows users to capitalize on their equipment investments while maximizing the efficiency of operations.

Resource management is a critical component of any business. We use the data provided by DMS to help us forecast when batteries need to be replaced and provide a cost estimate for that replacement within a monthly, annual, or biennial budget cycle. Having this type of information available to company leadership allows for proactive decision making on purchasing decisions that affect cash flow and enables them to define cost to customers more clearly. For more information on HAZON or HAZON DMS contact Ed Hine at ed@hazonsolutions.com.  To get in touch with the HAZON R&D team contact Garrett Scott at garrett@hazonsolutions.com.

Written by Garrett Scott, Training and Technology Division Manager & Todd Boward, PhD, Assistant Training and Technology Division Manager


 

Drone Maintenance Tracking

Aircraft Maintenance TrackingAircraft Maintenance TrackingDrones are not invincible.  Just like the rest of the equipment your business owns, they will eventually succumb to the wear and tear of their very reason for being – flight.  Propellers will bend out of shape, servos will slow and eventually fail, and firmware at the least will need to be updated.  There is a much to pay attention to and much track.  Free your people up to tackle the harder problems and let the Drone Management System do what it was meant to, get your business operating more efficiently and effectively through our drone maintenance tracking features.

Drone maintenance tracking has two key components. The first is planned maintenance – measuring wear and tear on your equipment and setting routine inspections based on specific intervals.  This is easily accomplished by tracking the flights and flight hours a drone accrues over time.  DMS allows a user to customize inspections based on intervals of either calendar time, flight hours or flights (or a combination of those).  We all know in the drone business that surprises are the enemy, ensure you don’t get surprised with a consistent and well executed drone inspection program.

The second component is logging unplanned maintenance done to individual aircraft. This could be preemptive maintenance after finding something when doing a simple pre-flight check or reactive to a failed part or piece of equipment.  Either way, unplanned drone maintenance tracking will allow you to identify common failures and trends, a key step forward for any business working on efficiency.

The DMS drone maintenance tracking function is powerful yet intuitive.  Designed to provide maximum information in a digestible and quick to interpret format, DMS will help ensure your operation is firing on all cylinders.  Get your business off spreadsheets and dry erase boards, streamline your process and increase efficiency by managing your operation with DMS.

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Drone safety management system

The unmanned industry is going through a phase focused on technology.  The newest sensors, the best aircraft, machine learning, and the slickest data management techniques are all supposed to elevate a drone operator to the highest levels of professionalism.  What’s being forgotten are the fundamentals of aviation – lessons learned the hard way over the course of the last century, lessons we in the unmanned business would do well to incorporate.

People remain at the core of every drone operation today and will for the foreseeable future.  Even the most automated of aircraft require a person to make decisions about where and when the aircraft should fly.  Because of this, a Safety Management System is critical to every professional drone operation.  A well developed and executed Safety Management System will reduce mishaps while simultaneously increasing efficiency.  Those mishaps can easily be measured in dollars lost as well as dollars not earned.  

At HAZON Solutions we developed our Safety Management System based on the Federal Aviation Administration’s and Part 121 commercial carrier’s systems.  Our program is complete with safety risk mitigation, safety assurance, safety policy, and safety promotion.  These incredibly effective components were used as the foundation of the HAZON Drone Management System™.

Every function in the HAZON DMS™ was built to incorporate and support the needs of a complete Safety Management System. The opening page each user sees at log-in clearly and unavoidably displays that user’s RPIC time in the last 7, 14, and 30 days – an excellent starting point for the pilot to self-assess their risk factors.  Aircraft maintenance information is easily accessible as are aircraft inspection reports.  Lessons Learned (a recently released feature) is a way to rapidly distribute safety related information across your entire drone network.

An investment in developing and executing a Safety Management System will easily yield a 3x or 4x return.  HAZON DMS™ has the ability to effortlessly support all tenants of a Safety Management System; it will keep pilots safe, equipment working, and a drone operation humming.

Cloud Based Drone Management Software Announced by HAZON Solutions®

Drone Management Software HAZON Solutions® (“HAZON”), the national leader in drone inspection services, announced today the launch of the HAZON Drone Management System™ (HAZON DMS™). HAZON DMS™ is a secure, web-based management tool providing every drone operator, whether a hobbyist with a single drone or a large corporation with hundreds of drones, a way to safely and efficiently track and manage their drone fleet, pilots and workflow.

“HAZON DMS™ is the first software designed by professional drone pilots, for professional drone pilots” says HAZON Director of Drone Capability Development, Ed Hine. “We designed it to be a robust, yet simple to use management tool that can handle all of our safety, maintenance, operational and pilot management requirements with one efficient application.”

Some of the HAZON DMS™ features include remote pilot (RP) logbooks, RP qualifications tracking, asset tracking, client management, proactive safety and maintenance tracking and reporting, and workflow management. HAZON DMS™ is offered as software as a service through the freemium model for individual users.

“HAZON DMS™ is the first software designed by professional drone pilots, for professional drone pilots. We designed it to be a robust, yet simple to use management tool that can handle all of our…requirements with one efficient application.”

– ED HINE, DIRECTOR OF DRONE CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT

“At HAZON we believe it is important to actively promote the safe and responsible use of drone throughout the entire drone industry, so we offer a free subscription to everyone,” said HAZON COO and Co-Founder, Sean Cushing. “Startup drone businesses now have the ability to utilize this very powerful tool early in their life cycle. This will allow them to focus on operating drones safely and with professional processes in place from day one.”

HAZON DMS™ is a cloud-based service offered at three levels. The “Remote Pilot” level is free to individual users with up to two drones. The “Drone Team” level is for multi-person, multi- drone operations available on a per user per month fee schedule. The “Enterprise Systems” level is designed for larger organizations, municipalities or universities with organic drone operations that require features like customized branding, alternative licensing and hosting options, dedicated 24/7 customer support, optional custom analytics and multi-tiered administrators.

“Even though it is already the most capable management software for the drone industry, we are quickly working to deploy the next set of advanced features,” said Hine. “One of the things that makes HAZON DMS™ so unique and powerful is that in order to support our customers’ needs and adapt to the rapid changes in our industry, we will update the tool with speed and purpose.”

HAZON DMS™ has recently completed beta testing with a wide range of drone operations including HAZON Solutions®, the York County Fire Department, Aerial Works and Liberty University. HAZON Solutions® will launch DMS™ at the AUVSI conference in Dallas, TX on May 8th, however it is now available at www.HAZONDMS.com.

About HAZON Solutions®

Based in Virginia Beach, HAZON Solutions® is the leading U.S. developer of small unmanned systems operations, capability development, training, safety and testing programs. The mission of HAZON Solutions® is to conduct, support, develop and validate small unmanned systems operations. Our goal is to provide unmatched quality, safety and value to our customers.

HAZON has deep roots in naval carrier aviation and intelligence systems. The company’s leadership team has more than 100 years of cumulative command and operations experience in the most challenging and hostile aerial environments in the world. Its members share a common background of flying fighter jets from aircraft carriers. HAZON CEO David Culler, Jr., spent 26 years flying for the United States Navy, capping off his career as the Commanding Officer of Norfolk Naval Station, the world’s largest naval base. For more information visit www.hazonsolutions.com.