Category: News

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

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


 

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.