senseFly is partnering with Air Navigation Pro, an aviation navigation app, to launch Safer Together. The joint initiative aims to address the risk of mid-air collision.
“At senseFly our background is in aviation,” says Cyril Halter, COO of. “Many of our founders and team members are pilots, so we understand how crucial ‘see and avoid’ awareness is for operational safety. Since we approach the development of our drones from a safety-first standpoint, it was a logical next step for us to join forces with Air Navigation Pro on Safer Together.”
Safer Together will give GA pilots and drone operators an awareness of each other’s airborne activities, giving them the knowledge they need to take any actions necessary to avoid mid-air incidents around 200 to 400 feet above ground, where most light-weight drones currently fly.
“This collaboration is about bridging the awareness gap between operators of our UAS—such as civil engineers, surveyors and agricultural professionals—and Air Navigation Pro’s community of GA users,” Halter says.
The project will be rolled out during 2016 in two phases:
Phase 1: Drone awareness for GA pilots
In the coming weeks, senseFly will release new GA functionality for its eMotion flight planning software. It will enable operators of its drones to create a special advisory when activating their automated drone flights.
Then, eMotion will transmit this advisory — a batch of flight information — via the Internet, to Air Navigation Pro’s server. Air Navigation Pro will then push the information out to all smart devices of connected Air Navigation users, enabling them to see details of the senseFly operator’s planned drone working area, such as its location, likely timings, height above the ground, type of drone, etc. — both prior to and during the GA pilot’s flight.
Phase 2: GA awareness for drone operators
In the coming months, senseFly drone operators will, in turn, gain the ability to view the Air Navigation users’ flights in real time, making the Safer Together project the first system to provide bidirectional awareness of aerial activity for GA pilots and drone operators.
“With the increasing number of vehicles in the air, it is essential that we focus on the improvement and awareness of mid-air safety,” says Johann Huguenin, the CEO of Air Navigation Pro. “It all starts with communication between the drone-operator and the pilot, which we are making possible with Safer Together.”
senseFly develops and produces aerial imaging drones for professional applications. The automated data collection tools are employed by customers around the world in fields such as surveying, agriculture, GIS, industrial inspection, mining and humanitarian aid. senseFly was founded in 2009 by a team of robotics researchers is now a specialist in professional mapping drones.