Israeli Police Conducts First Autonomous BVLOS Drone Missions

By FlightOps | November 30, 2022

Using the FlightOps Ltd. multi-drone operating system, the Israel Police for the first time deployed autonomous drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) for command, surveillance and intelligence missions.  

During a first-ever operational experiment carried out by the Israeli police in October, a drone was placed at the Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut station to serve as a first responder to incidents throughout the city. A drone owned by FlyTech, an Israeli drone operation company, was controlled by FlightOps, an autonomous system that performed missions day and night without human assistance. 

This system performed several missions in Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut, a city between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem with approximately 93,000 residents. Immediately after a traffic accident was reported, the drone was dispatched and arrived at the scene before the rescue teams, providing the police control room with a live and clear picture of the scene. As part of another late-night incident, the police reported a suspected terrorist, and a drone was dispatched to the scene, providing the patrol unit with aerial infra-red video of the roofs and open air to assist in the search. One of the longest trips reached 10.4 kilometers - or 6.5 miles. 

Ayalon Highways, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Innovation Authority and the Smart Transportation Administration conducted the experiment as part of the Israeli National Drone Initiative (INDI). The experiment was conducted to test the operation of a drone as a first responder (DFR) to police hotline calls. Only a few minutes after receiving a call, the drone was dispatched to provide a complete and real-time situation picture to the forces in the field. 

“We are happy and proud to lead the technological breakthrough that enables security and rescue forces to reach any point, even in densely populated areas, in real time, and to receive a complete picture,” said FlightOps CEO Shay Levy. “We have no doubt that the future lies in the low altitude realm and that our technology is a key component that will enable a leap forward in the capability to fly drones autonomously and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) in the Israel Police service and in the civilian sector, in general.” 

Eliran Oren, the CEO of FlyTech, said, “The experiment proved that from a technological point of view, these flights can be carried out  in an operational environment. The police forces received a very high-quality video product, with a delay of up to half a second and this is a force multiplier in the field." 

The FlightOps operating system works by installing software onto a drone of any type, which converts the drone into an autonomous aircraft. The drone then communicates with a cloud-based operation center through 5G networks allowing for automated fleet operation in shared airspace.  

In addition to first response missions, the FlightOps OS can be utilized for surveillance and drone deliveries. In August, Volatus Aerospace became the first company in Canada to receive a BVLOS Special Flight Operations Certificate, which allows drone operations without a visual observer. In June, FlightOps announced a significant commercial agreement with DroneUp, a major drone services provider that offers last-mile delivery solutions for Walmart. 

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