Lockheed Martin and Canadian UAVs teamed up to showcase how beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights can help various operations by performing multiple BVLOS inspection flights with the Indago 2 drone at the UAV testing facility in Foremost, Alberta, Canada.

Equipped with a camera that can capture high-resolution images and video with 30x optical and enhanced digital zoom, the quadrotor successfully inspected several pipelines, powerlines and wellheads. The Indago 2 weighs five pounds, and achieves ranges up to 5 km when operated using its handheld controller, extending beyond 10 km with directional communications devices. It also has an endurance of approximately 45 minutes and takes advantage of Lockheed’s Hydra Fusion Tools, which provides situational awareness during operations. It is the only system to provide real-time three-dimensional reconstruction during UAS flight.

“Most of our customers need real-time actionable intelligence so Hydra Fusion Tools was founded on the requirement that it deliver instantaneous 3D mapping. We are the first in the world to deliver this capability,” said John Molberg, business development lead for Lockheed Martin CDL Systems, “Our systems routinely fly beyond line of sight for our military customers, which has allowed us to gain compliance status with Transport Canada for use in commercial airspace. This flight achievement is a bellwether for Canadian UAVs, Lockheed Martin and Foremost Test Range, and showcases the leadership provided by Unmanned Systems Canada and Transport Canada for the safe use of unmanned systems in Canadian airspace.”

Canadian UAVs President Sean Greenwood says Canadian UAVs is focused on creating an end-to-end paradigm with Transport Canada to conduct these operations outside of Restricted Military Airspace. They’re looking at applications where customers have a substantial regulatory and logistical needs to acquire actionable data.

It’s important to see these kinds of operations taking place, not only for laws and regulations to take shape, but also for the drone industry to expand and show what drones are capable of.