Earlier this year, Alpha was selected as one of seven key UAV industry firms to participate in the UAV Pop-up Lab initiative, established by the global mobile satellite communications giant, Inmarsat.
The objective of this innovative program was to examine the use of Inmarsat’s global SATCOM (Satellite Communications) reach to facilitate UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) operations Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), along with real-time video transmission in a variety of commercial and civilian market sectors and scenarios.
The practical applications for satellite-enabled drones being examined and developed by the UAV Pop-up Lab initiative involved a variety of use-cases: humanitarian aid supply, wildfire suppression, search and rescue operations and oil rig inspections, which patently coincide with the key target areas of interest in the ResponDrone project.
The results of Alpha’s efforts to date, were showcased at a one-day industry event hosted by Inmarsat.
At the conference, Alpha’s CEO Eric Freeman, provided a presentation on the use of its autonomous UAV helicopter to deliver medical and humanitarian aid supplies to precision drop locations in areas of need.
The Alpha presentation also expanded on the use of UAVs for ResponDrone and how their operation combined with robust SATCOM coverage is a key component in providing situational awareness for first responders in emergency situations, an issue that goes to the very heart of the project.
The ability of Alpha’s tactical UAVs to hover and loiter over zones of interest, provides an ideal solution to operating in dangerous and complex environments, as is the case in most locations where emergency supplies are so often needed.
The combination of Alpha’s leading-edge autonomous Alpha 800 helicopter UAV technology with the SATCOM connectivity provided by Inmarsat, is designed to expand the operating range of its UAV fleet to almost 200 km, sustain system endurance in areas prone to impoverished infrastructure, while the use of real-time video transmission is aimed to ensure that the system has the requisite precision drop capability for delivering urgent supplies.