Israeli Police trials drones as first responders in urban areas

israel police drone first responder

Israeli Police have successfully conducted a trial where drones served as first responders to incidents in two suburbs of Tel Aviv with a combined population of around 154,000 residents.

Drone operator FlyTech and multi-drone operating system FlightOps played key roles in making this operational trial a success. Drone missions were carried out in the suburbs of Ramla and Lod, where two drones managed by FlyTech’s Yahav Preiss, Israel’s first commercial drone pilot licensed to operate beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS), served as first responders to incidents, day and night.

When the police hotline received the call of a reported incident, the address was provided to the drone pilot in the command and control center. The pilot plugged the information into the FlightOps system and monitored the autonomous drone flight. The drone then flew to the address of the incident and transmitted the visual back to the police at the command center before being ordered to return to headquarters and end the mission.

“The drones are fitted with three sim cards from three different mobile network operators and the drones are controlled via LTE network secure links,” explains Preiss. “In the event of an incident, the FlightOps multi-drone operating system alerts the drone and it takes off, flying a geo-fenced, autonomous route to the scene, transmitting images of the event to the police control center. Eventually, if the trials are successful, the images will also be transmitted to police vehicles.”

One of the most difficult elements of the trial was to work with the regulator, the Israeli Air Force and the Tel Aviv International Airport, on a detailed airspace assessment to ensure the drones can fly safely in shared airspace below the tops of buildings – which required reducing minimum separation distances between aircraft to 500 ft. and within 100m of a No Fly Zone perimeter.

In October 2022, a similar operation was carried out in Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut, a city with approximately 93,000 residents. That trial was part of the Israeli National Drone Initiative (INDI), pioneered by Ayalon Highways, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Innovation Authority, and the Smart Transportation Administration.

FlightOps CEO Shay Levy says:

The missions in Ramla and Lod built upon the Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut operation and reaffirmed the value of multiple autonomous drones flying BVLOS in urban airspace. We are delighted that our technology enables security and rescue forces to reach any point in real-time. These missions save time, and with more operations carried out, will save lives.

FlightOps calls its drone operating system (OS) the “Android” of the air mobility market. The solution works by installing robotic software onboard any type of commercial drone. This OS allows the drone to make autonomous decisions, negating the need for manual planning, and minimizes the dependency on communications with human operators.

Read: Sphere Drones launches free flight advisory service in Australia 

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