First Approval for Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight

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First Approval for Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight Drone Flights Granted in Canada Using Iris Automation’s Onboard Detect-and-Avoid Technology

SAN FRANCISCO March 26, 2020  –

MVT Geo-solutions, in partnership with Iris Automation, has been granted the first Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) by Transport Canada using only onboard Detect-and-Avoid (DAA). The approval was granted based on the utilization of Iris Automation’s DAA system, called Casia, which provides commercial drones with automated collision avoidance maneuvers. 


The waiver permits flights within the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center of Excellence’s controlled airspace Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) test range in Alma, Quebec. This is the first BVLOS flight at the location leveraging only onboard DAA for air risk mitigation, and does not require ground-based observers or radar. BVLOS flights unlock autonomous drone use for economically beneficial commercial applications including infrastructure inspection, mining, mapping, agriculture, emergency response, and package delivery. 

“Achieving the first BVLOS approval in Canada further validates our technology alongside multiple permissions we have already received from regulators in the U.S. and South Africa,” said Iris Automation CEO Alexander Harmsen. ”This technology is critical to safely integrate drones into the airspace along with manned-aircraft, and we look forward to unlocking commercial operations for our customers in Canada.” 
Iris Automation’s onboard computer-vision DAA system is the most effective, scalable, and cost-effective technology to enable commercial BVLOS operations. 


“The UAS Center of Excellence is looking forward to leveraging Iris Automation’s industry-leading DAA system and existing flight expertise within our network to conduct BVLOS flights with MVT Geo-solutions,” said UAS Center of Excellence Director William de Keiser. “We will continue to develop our partnership with Iris Automation to provide training to local operators and enable BVLOS flights in Canada.”
The first BVLOS flights are scheduled to take place within weeks. The resulting data will inform more complex BVLOS operations in the future.

About Iris Automation:

Iris Automation is building a computer-vision-based avoidance system that helps drones see the world how pilots do. The company is based in San Francisco and is led by a team with experience at NASA, Boeing, and Nvidia, including PhDs in computer vision. Iris is a key partner on multiple FAA UAS Integration Pilot Programs, a participant of NASA’s Unmanned Traffic Management program and a participant of Transport Canada’s BVLOS Technology Demonstration Program. Learn more at www.irisonboard.com