Censys Unveils Revolutionary BVLOS Drone Operations with Sentaero

In an exciting development for the , Censys Technologies is pushing the boundaries of what's possible with their Sentaero drone and advanced (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) operations.

Listen or watch to our conversation with Kyle Miller, Director of Sales at Censys about the Sentaaero drone and BVLOS operations.

YouTube video

Sentaero: A Versatile VTOL Drone Platform

The Sentaero is a fixed-wing (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) drone manufactured by Censys Technologies. With the ability to integrate a wide variety of payloads up to 4 pounds, including high-resolution cameras, , thermal, and even magnetometers, the Sentaero provides unmatched versatility for data collection missions.

“If the sensor can fit in our Sentaero Universal payload housing, it's under four pounds, and it doesn't consume too much power, we have a lot of flexibility,” said Kyle Miller, Director of Sales at Censys. The modular payload system allows the Sentaero to be adapted for applications ranging from infrastructure inspection to mineral exploration.

Censys Unveils Revolutionary Bvlos Drone Operations With Sentaero 1

Enabling Safe BVLOS Operations

One of the key challenges in advancing commercial drone operations is enabling safe BVLOS flights. This requires mitigating both air risk and ground risk.

To avoid collisions with other aircraft, the Sentaero integrates an ADS-B receiver to detect cooperative air traffic and a forward-facing optical detect-and-avoid system to spot non-cooperative aircraft. If a potential collision is detected, the drone executes an automatic avoidance maneuver. Additional risk mitigations can include ground-based radar or visual observers.

Ground risk is addressed by careful flight planning, taking into account population density, road traffic, and obstacles. Censys has been able to get approvals for flying over certain roadways and sparsely populated areas by presenting thorough safety cases to regulators.

Partnering with State DOTs

Censys has been working closely with state Departments of Transportation to enable advanced drone operations. A notable example is their partnership with the DOT.

“Ohio DOT is one of those really forward-leaning states when it comes to drones,” Miller noted. “They took a crawl-walk-run approach to enabling BVLOS for the state.” Starting with site-specific approvals, they have now progressed to performance-based approvals for BVLOS flights and operations over moving vehicles on certain approved roadways.

The Future of Advanced Drone Ops

Looking ahead, Censys is focused on expanding their software capabilities for edge processing, allowing actionable intelligence to be extracted from the large amounts of data collected during BVLOS missions. They are also working towards type certification of their aircraft to enable flights over the most densely populated areas.

“If a hurricane hits and State Farm wants to know if this guy's roof was damaged before or after the storm, I can hit a button and the drone flies and maps all of Orlando,” Miller envisions. “That's only possible through a certification process of the airframe.”

DroneXL's Take

The work Censys Technologies is doing with the Sentaero and BVLOS operations provides an exciting glimpse into the future of the commercial drone industry. By developing robust safety systems and closely collaborating with regulators, they are laying the groundwork for drones to take on ever more advanced roles in fields like infrastructure inspection, disaster response, and even package delivery.

While the technological challenges are significant, it's clear that the potential benefits are immense. As companies like Censys continue to innovate and push the boundaries, we can expect to see drones becoming an increasingly integral part of our economy and daily lives in the years ahead.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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