Ground-breaking autonomous drone systems developer Percepto says it has attained another unprecedented Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) authorization, this time for its nested UAVs to be used at a solar power plant in Texas to perform highly automated inspections at high altitudes.
Israel-based Percepto says the FAA approval of its drone-in-a-box platform to carry out highly automated BVLOS inspections at the Texas solar plant is unprecedented due to the altitudes at which those missions may now be carried out. The company says the authorization permits those flights of up to 200 feet above ground level – double the maximum all similar operations that previously received clearance.
Percepto says the ability to perform highly automated BVLOS drone flights at such heights is essential to permitting increased operational flexibility, and enabling the monitoring of broader areas and taller structures than previously possible – including for mapping and modeling objectives.
Percepto BVLOS-operated drones function using the nested system’s automated detect and avoidance capabilities. Those render visual observation and remote piloting obsolete in the event of other aircraft entering the same airspace, thanks to the platform’s automatic airspace deconfliction tech.
The FAA authorization of Percepto drones to fly highly automated BVLOS missions at increased altitudes creates the possibility of reducing the number UAVs needed to inspect modest-sized infrastructure installations, and to monitor vast expanses of assets with centrally controlled drone-in-a-box fleets.
“Gaining this approval marks a significant milestone to provide remote and autonomous inspections at industrial sites, fulfilling Percepto’s mission to provide safe and reliable critical infrastructure,” said the company’s policy and government affairs vice president Neta Gliksman. “We are grateful to the FAA for their diligence in reviewing Percepto’s safety case, and we look forward to continue to support the critical infrastructure community across the U.S.”
The new FAA authorization is the latest in a series of regulatory breakthroughs by Percepto, including a November clearance to perform BVLOS missions across the entire US.