Draganfly’s drone test center to focus first on Ukraine de-mining activity

Draganfly test drone

Innovative drone, software, and artificial intelligence (AI) developer Draganfly has announced the launch of a research and test center dedicated to perfecting a variety of aerial applications – not the least of which being the company’s ongoing work with Ukraine using UAVs for the detection and clearance of Russian mines.

Located in Spring Branch, Texas, the Draganfly UAS A.I.R. Space facility will serve as a specialized development center for both the expansion and enhancement of how drones, sensors, software, and AI applications can be used in enterprise, humanitarian, and security missions. That work will allow improved performance of individual assets, as well as better combined effectiveness as aerial tech ensembles.

Operated in partnership with Coldchain Delivery Systems, the new controlled environment center will support the design, validation, and optimization of standard operating procedures, sensor selection, and data collection techniques by drones for a variety of objectives, including mapping, surveying, and infrastructure inspection. It will also seek to further the development of AI models to enable increasingly efficient execution of missions.

ReadDraganfly drones neutralizing mines – not dropping explosives – in Ukraine 

A primary focus initially, however, will be the continued development of protocols for anomaly detection in identifying, and ultimately clearing mines and unexploded ordinance – an effort in which Draganfly has been active in Ukraine since the summer. 

The company’s experience aiding local authorities grappling with what has become an enormous problem of Russian minefields across Ukraine will permit real-world scenarios to be replicated in the Spring Branch facility. That will be harnessed while using drones for remote sensor testing to improve the effectiveness and speed of the process. 

The Draganfly UAS A.I.R. Space will similarly draw on insight gained from the firm’s partnership with Ukraine emergency response and humanitarian aid groups that have used its heavy-lift and strategic drones to rapidly transport medical supplies and other assistance to victims of the continuing Russian invasion.

ReadDraganfly’s drone partnership with DEF-C deepens its activities in Ukraine 

While those focuses are obviously both timely and urgent given the intense violence in Ukraine, Draganfly CEO Cameron Chell notes the new testing facility won’t be losing sight of the many other ways drones can be developed to enhance performance for business and public service operators.

“The ability to safely test mapping, equipment, technology, and potential use cases in a controlled non-threatening environment will enable Draganfly to continue its innovation and research in relation to mine detection and a variety of other UAV programs,” said Chell. “We are excited about this one-of-a-kind flight facility that we have launched with Coldchain Delivery Systems and the amazing results that will benefit not only our partners and customers but the industry as a whole.”

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