Draganfly adds Vermeer’s AI-enhanced VPS sensor to Commander 3XL drones

Draganfly drone

Canadian high-performance UAV producer Draganfly is moving to make further inroads with defense and security clients by partnering with specialized sensor and artificial intelligence solution provider Vermeer, whose visual positioning system (VPS) will be integrated into Commander 3XL drones.

The objective in the pairing is to provide Draganfly access to NYC-based Vermeer’s military and government clients, while offering its own Commander 3XL drone customers the benefit of VPS sensor and software capabilities. Those include using artificial intelligence and artificial reality applications that permit aircraft and robotic ground vehicles to determine their exact location while operating in contested, spoofed, and GPS-denied environments.

Read: Draganfly partners with RSI to access India’s expanding (and protected) drone market

The VPS system is used in pre-planning missions. It then takes over once communication links to UAVs have become too weak to function, or are jammed or otherwise disrupted by outside actors. Once that happens, the unit provides the craft its own positioning data to navigate with by comparing the video feed from the VPS payload with the 3D map of terrain to be overflown, which were previously loaded onboard.

That entirely synthetic recreation of the flight path entered before the flight allows drones to continue their intelligence, surveillance, or reconnaissance missions on their own until communication links are restored, or they return home safely to operators.

Vermeer’s VPS product is already being integrated into US Department of Defense agencies for use previsualizing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions with robotic craft, and will now extend that capacity and operational backup assurance to users of Draganfly’s Commander 3XL drones.

“Our team designed and manufactured the Commander 3XL drone to ensure it was compatible with various interchangeable payloads,” said Draganfly CEO Cameron Chell. “Integrating Vermeer’s VPS technology with the Commander 3XL will help improve military and defense intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. We are thrilled to partner with Vermeer to create solutions that help defense agencies protect life, mitigate risk, and reduce liability.”

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Vermeer has already expanded its business activity through work with clients that include Raytheon, GE, Department of Defense agencies like the US Air Force, and even Netflix. Inclusion of its tech aboard Commander 3XL drone will now provide the company relationships with Draganfly’s international defense and security customers, as well as firms using its UAVS for other applications, such as Lufthansa Industry Solutions, Coldchain Technology Services, and Valqari.

“Draganfly’s technology will provide a seamless solution that keeps pilots flying even in the most difficult or remote areas during critical missions,” said Chris Pickett, Vermeer’s director of business development. “We are extremely excited about this partnership which will provide a full drone solution using vision-based, global navigation for GPS-denied and spoofed environments for military and government contracts.”

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