Together with Fleetonomy.ai, Thales has used SOARIZON® for end-to-end autonomous flight trials. The event took place in Helsinki, Finland in October, which successfully saw a drone fly in a non-restricted area of the city where the data collected was analysed for change detection.
Drones can be used for a number of things. These light-weight flying vehicles can perform aerial surveillance of crops, crowds, construction, and critical national infrastructure, and can even send you a ‘report’ with images. In order to make a lot of this happen, you need an application to put you in contact with a drone operator to help carry out your request, and this is where SOARIZON comes in.
SOARIZON, born from collaboration between Thales in the UK and Thales’s Digital Factory in Paris, is the first Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to come out of the UK, and aims to transform the way drones are used in society. The trusted platform enables customers to safely operate their commercial drones end-to-end by simply using one digital tool.
SOARIZON will help customers reduce the time it takes to plan an operation, enable businesses to scale up by maximising the use of drones and allow users and drone operators to fly their aircraft in a safe, assured and regulated way.
The flight trial with Fleetonomy.ai, an innovative drone operator in Helsinki, demonstrated how autonomous flying in cities can be achieved and scaled. Soarizon was integrated to enable a flight request to be put through the system. The exercise was a successful milestone for the project team as the process showed how a client request could be processed from the initial request all the way through to delivery and analytics.
Together with Fleetonomy.ai, Thales has used SOARIZON® for end-to-end autonomous flight trials.
“Although only a proof of concept initially, Soarizon has demonstrated how a client request for a road inspection could be conducted, then transferred to a drone operator and then autonomously, conduct an inner city flight with Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operation. We proved this is a truly scalable solution that can be digitised, enable scaling and significantly bring down the cost of operations.” Mike Oliver, Head of Customer Innovation at Thales in the UK
The successful trials were conducted six times over a week period and were a great example of how end-to-end operations could happen in the future.
SOARIZON is still in MVP phase, entering its second cycle, with the aim to be initially available on the market in the New Year. Thales is looking to collaborate with customers to help inform the direction of the product’s development within the infrastructure, energy, construction, rail and telecommunications sectors, among others.
Mike Oliver says: “What we have shown during the trials in Helsinki is that we can successfully request a set of information, autonomously trigger and fly drone operations in a BVLOS city location and provide imagery data back to a client.”
The solution can add real value by helping organisations to navigate a complex ecosystem and improve the commercial and safety performance of drone operations in different environments.