Vigilant Aerospace is a technology startup developing aviation safety software to unlock the full economic impact of unmanned and autonomous aircraft in the US national airspace. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vigilant provided its FlightHorizon detect-and-avoid and airspace management system to enable beyond visual line-of-sight capabilities for a demonstration flight of Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) specially modified medical supply delivery drone.
The system is designed to deliver medical supplies and testing kits for pandemic relief and other disaster response efforts using unmanned aircraft to speed delivery and reduce risk. The FlightHorizon system provides air traffic monitoring and safety to allow drone flight beyond the visual line-of-sight of the pilot, which is required for FAA authorization. The flight was carried out by OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute.
The aim of the flight was to demonstrate the ability to track the emergency delivery aircraft and all surrounding air traffic to maintain situational awareness and predict potential conflicts. Air traffic and the drone were tracked throughout the flight in real time using FlightHorizon. The aircraft was a specially modified drone carrying a medical supply payload delivery container from MaxQ. The aircraft is designed to deliver items like virus testing kits, biological samples, blood and other items requiring temperature control.This flight was conducted as part of the research and development project funded by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology’s (OCAST) Oklahoma Applied Research Support program (OARS), which funds innovative projects in industries critical to Oklahoma’s economy.
Image from Vigilant Aerospace.