Autel Robotics’ newest announcement was circulated last week when they introduced their newest drone: the Autel Evo II Dual Enterprise. The newest addition to their line of EVO II products is designed to be an aerial asset to professionals in the public safety, enterprise, and mapping industries.
The Enterprise line comes in 3 variations: the EVO II Pro, the EVO II Dual 640T, and the EVO II Dual Radiometric (R). While these models are largely the same aircraft, there are a few key distinctions that should be noted.
The EVO II Pro Enterprise bundle includes a camera payload containing a 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor with up to 16x digital zoom, capable of filming in 6K video resolution.
Autel’s EVO II Dual 640T Enterprise Bundle equips a dual thermal and visual camera payload, significantly increasing the operational capabilities. The visual camera is a 48MP ½-inch CMOS sensor capable of shooting video in up to 8k resolution. Jointly, a 640×512 thermal imaging sensor captures detailed images and recordings of radiometric data.
Autel’s EVO II Dual 640T and EVO II Dual Radiometric (R) differ in the thermal sensors within the aircraft. The EVO II Dual R uses a sensor made in the United States and saves thermal images in files that are compatible with FLIR Tools, allowing users to view temperature data after it has been captured, hence radiometric. The EVO II Dual 640T utilizes a sensor from China and is not compatible with FLIR Tools but is compatible with software from Autel that accomplishes a similar goal.
The EVO II Pro has no thermal capabilities in the camera payload, but still comes with all the accessories and capabilities as the R and 640T.
The Enterprise bundle includes accessories that can be added via the port on the top of the drone. These accessories include a loudspeaker, spotlight, strobe, and a RTK module.
The bundle also includes the brand new Autel Smart Controller. The large display of the Smart Controller allows operators to see clearly even in direct sunlight with little compromise of quality or visibility. This controller boasts a battery life of up to 3 operational hours at “max intensity” and a transmission range of 8 miles (13 km) unobstructed.
Autel’s new aircraft also introduce a few hardware improvements, such as carbon fiber arms that strengthen the aircraft while reducing overall weight and more robust motors to provide enough power to support the additional weight of accessories.
Notable software improvements include:
- ADS-B receivers that allow operators to receive transmissions of manned aircrafts in the area;
- 360-degree obstacle avoidance;
- Ability to construct 3D maps of aircraft’s surroundings;
- Predictive Target Tracking – pilots can lock on to an individual or moving object and allow the aircraft to predict the subject’s trajectory, keeping it within the camera frame.
As previously mentioned, these new drones are designed for professionals in the public safety, enterprise, and mapping industries. This is certainly not the first drone to enter the market with these capabilities, but Autel has brought some new abilities to a smaller platform.
For a full breakdown of this platform’s specs or to request a quote, click here.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to monitor our social media and news channels for more information, comparisons, and helpful insights on all topics concerning unmanned systems.
Catch the full after-action report here!
Recently, a Florida resident named Jeffrey was diving in the Myakka River in search of fossilized shark teeth. He filmed his dive with a GoPro mount on his mask goggles, which was recording from the moment he stepped into the water. In under a minute, he was attacked from behind by a 6.5-foot-long alligator.
The GoPro and goggles fell off during the struggle wherein Jeffrey suffered a striking blow. The alligator chomped down on his skull leaving him wounded. He ended up receiving treatment in time, yet his head is held together by 35 staples.
Because Jeffrey was accused of provoking the attack, he asked other local divers to attempt to recover the lost goggles and GoPro camera that was lying on the riverbed floor. He hoped this would prove he did not instigate the attack.
NBC2 News, based out of Fort Myers, Florida picked up the story and hoped to prove his innocence. Jeffery stated on film that the GoPro will not show any provoking because the alligator attacked him from behind. He never saw the gator approaching and the GoPro was filming while facing forward. Because the first attempt failed to recover the GoPro mount, NBC2 News had another idea.
NBC2 News reached out to the FLYMOTION team, and we agreed to meet them on the Myakka River. “Most of the time, we’re giving this equipment to first responders—the guys on the front lines. We’re helping to put something else in harm’s way instead of them,” said Justin Swartz, FLYMOTION training lead.
Once on scene, we deployed the Chasing M2 ROV (remote operated vehicle), which is a complete underwater drone with an integrated 4K underwater fishing camera on board, piloted by a remote handheld controller.
Within 45 minutes of arrival, our unmanned submersible vehicle (USV) specialist, Chase Haley, spotted Jeffery’s orange snorkel on the riverbed. Attached to the snorkel were his dive goggles and the lost GoPro, holding the footage that would prove Jeffrey’s innocence.
Despite the footage being kept private by Jeffrey, citing emotional stress and trauma, he did share it with the NBC2 News crew. Within their original broadcast, they shared that it did indeed show a sudden attack from behind before sinking to the bottom while recording the river in front of Jeffrey. He would have never known the gator was approaching.
One of the major take-aways is to ensure your agency or organization has the tools on hand whatever the mission ahead calls for. Sometimes putting an unmanned system in place in front of human life is necessary. Having the right equipment to traverse rough ground terrain, underground, underwater, even in the air is paramount.
The Chasing M2 series ROV proved successful over human divers in a recovery effort to find dive goggles. If your agency or organization in interested in learning more, please reach out to our team.
With many drone manufacturers competing for the market, the difference between purchasing a drone could come down to small details like camera sensor size, thermal resolution, or battery life. For agencies and organizations looking for a solid comparison between two middle-of-the-line sUAS for their operations, this article is right up your alley. We will be discussing and comparing the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced versus the Autel Evo 2 Dual.
Putting a drone up in the air can provide overwatch and help ground teams with situational awareness from an elevated, often discreet perspective. At 400 feet, smaller UAS systems will often not be heard, nor will it interfere with events on the ground. Watching events unfold means having the proper zoom camera and thermal capabilities.
Thermal Drone Sensors & Zoom Cameras
We will start with thermal sensors and the zoom camera through thermal. With the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced (M2EA) comes with a 640×512 high-resolution thermal camera (right half) with a 30Hz refresh rate and a 16x digital zoom. The Autel EVO II Dual offers the same thermal resolution (left half), the same refresh rate, but only has an 8x digital zoom in thermal. Zoom capabilities are different in visible light, which brings us to the next category. Regardless of make, high-resolution thermal will ensure you’re properly equipped with the latest night vision drone technology.
Visible Light Cameras
The M2EA boasts a strong 32x digital zoom in the standard visible light camera—compared to the Autel Robotics Evo 2’s 8x digital zoom. You’ll be able to see much farther with the Enterprise Advanced. The M2EA also offers a larger 84-degree field of view from its sensor and provides 4K Ultra-high Definition (UHD) resolution. On the other hand, the EVO II Dual offers a reduced 74-degree field of view. However, it doubles the resolution output to 8K (7680×4320 pixels on screen).
The battery life on both the Enterprise Advanced and the EVO are similar. The Autel Evo 2 battery allows pilots an approximate 38-minute flight time over the Mavic’s 31-minute flight time. It is important to note that these flight times are estimated and without any payloads added to the airframes.
Controller & Flight Modes
Perhaps controller functionality and flight modes matter more than camera sensor features. With the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, you have only one option which is the smart controller. Through the smart controller, you’ll be able to toggle between tripod, portrait, and sport flight modes. The ultra-bright 5.5” display allows for clear view of the screen, even in direct sunlight. (NB: previous Enterprise aircraft allowed for the use of the non-smart controller or the smart controller).
The EVO II does have a smaller built-in display compared to the DJI smart controller. Therefore, it is recommended pilots utilize a large screen by adding a mobile phone or tablet to the Autel controller for full functionality. On the flip side, despite the smaller controller, the Autel offers a total of 8 flight modes such as orbit, dynamic tracking, tripod track, viewpoint, gesture, and more.
Payloads & Bundles
Payload options are important to consider when purchasing a drone or adding to an existing fleet. Both UAS come in hard shell cases. The Enterprise Advanced comes with three separate payloads, where only one can be mounted at a time. All three DJI payloads—the spotlight, the loud speaker, and the beacon—are easily swappable with a few screws. For added benefits, you might consider the Enterprise Fly More Kit. The Fly More Kit includes 2 extra batteries, 4 additional propellers, and power charging cables.
On the Autel side, the EVO II is more limited. Foxfury offers a saddle-type of high-lumen bi-directional LED lights that snap around the center of the aircraft. For accessories, you’ll want to explore the Rugged Bundle. The Autel Evo 2 Rugged Bundle comes with 2 extra batteries, 2 additional propellers, USB/USB-C connectors, and a charging hub to charge all 4 batteries at once.
Price is the bottom line. The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced by itself is priced right at $6,200. When adding the Enterprise Fly More Kit, you’re looking at a $6,700 price tag. Comparatively, the Autel EVO II Dual Rugged Bundle comes in right at $10,000.00.
For more information on the Autel Evo 2 review we made, please visit our YouTube channel. If you’re interested in receiving a quote on the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced or the Autel EVO 2 thermal, please email our staff at email@example.com.
In May 2021, a member of the FLYMOTION training division was off-site visiting a client of ours based in Louisiana. In between demonstrations, a call came through the radio alerting them of a structure fire. In this case, it was a large single-family home that caught fire and was quickly and heavily engulfed in flames. Luckily, Justin was traveling with two flagship DJI enterprise drones—the newly-released DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced and the DJI Matrice 300 RTK.
Once Justin arrived on scene, he asked permission to deploy our UAS. Once the incident commander gave the green light, Justin first deployed the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced. The goal of getting the lightweight UAS airframe airborne first was primarily to gain full 360-degree situational awareness of the property. The second goal of fire rescue drone operations is and should always be providing overwatch during the entirety of the call, until it is cleared.
Visibly, there was a column of smoke that emerged through the roof. For fire rescue professionals on the ground, this presented a visibility challenge of where to direct the hose lines to combat the source of the flames.
With Justin piloting the Enterprise Advanced, he utilized the high-resolution 640×512 thermal to see through the smoke. Flames that were hidden from eyesight on the ground were now clear as day with the thermal sensor overhead. Combating this structure fire with a thermal sensor overhead allowed fire rescue to gain control of the fire faster and placed a major emphasis on improved firefighter safety.
After the fire was contained, Justin landed the Enterprise Advanced and deployed the Matrice 300 RTK with the Zenmuse H20-T payload attached. The H20-T payload packs a powerful 20-megapixel zoom sensor providing a 23x hybrid optical zoom and 200x maximum digital zoom. It was necessary to incorporate the zoom capability alongside the thermal during this time of vulnerability.
With most of the fire suppressed, hot spots still presented a threat to firefighter safety via the risk of re-ignitions. It was at this point in the call, firefighters were entering the home. Our pilot hovered directly above the house and set the isotherms on the thermal to display hot spots ranging between 200 degrees and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeing very clear hot spots allowed the incident commander to direct the hose lines to the appropriate places.
The Take-Away: The high-powered zoom camera allowed for even sharper detail of exactly what was still burning—a huge value add for firefighter safety and keeping the house from reigniting. Providing additional technology support through drone operations during a fire call presents many valuable benefits to save agencies money, time, and most important, lives of innocent bystanders and those who serve in public safety.
To catch the After Action Report video, please watch on our FLYMOTION YouTube channel. Thank you for reading!
One night in the United Kingdom, a man was traveling down the road. It was wintertime so the weather outside was undesirable to say the least. The temperature had dropped below zero, so traffic would have been light due to everyone staying inside to keep warm. As the man was traveling, he lost control of his vehicle, crashing on the side of the road. Authorities were called, but when they arrived on the scene the man was nowhere to be found. There was simply no trace of him. He had vanished without a trace. Those who responded quickly called for a search team, believing he wouldn’t have gone far due to the freezing temperatures. The team on the ground searched for the man, but he was still nowhere to be found. They search went on and more time passed, but still no sign of him. The responders were stumped, finding themselves wondering where the man was, if he was in need of medical aid, or if he had just walked away unharmed. After the lengthy search on foot, they decided to launch a UAS equipped with a thermal imaging payload. Within minutes, they found the man collapsed in a ditch nearly 500 ft away. The UAS was able to lead rescuers directly to where he was, allowing them to administer first aid.
Thermal cameras are becoming more and more common in public safety, inspection, and several other industries. But why now? Was there something previously keeping thermal imaging out of these industries? Not necessarily, but thermal devices are much more accessible now than before.
What is thermal?
In order to completely understand the benefits of thermal imaging, it may be helpful to understand what thermal imaging actually does. A human eye can only visualize objects that have light reflecting directly off of it. Thermal imaging uses wavelengths that the human eye cannot recognize on its own and converts the signal into an image that our eyes can see. Essentially, it reveals what the human eye cannot.
How do people benefit from thermal imaging?
Technology can enhance human capabilities in unimaginable ways, and thermal imaging is no exception. Visual light does not affect these cameras which enables them to see through cover, such as smoke or darkness, to reveal what lies behind it. One of industries that benefits from these capabilities the most are public safety agencies during night operations, fire rescue, or search and rescue missions. This technology allows first responders to find dangerous hotspots, navigate tough terrain safely, and locate those who are in need more efficiently.
Thermal Imaging in Public Safety
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of success stories about how public safety agencies use thermal imaging to rescue individuals. Access to this kind of technology is vital. Airborne thermal imaging makes a difference in saving the lives of the responders and those who are being responded to. We provide solutions equipped with the tools you need when the calls come. Aerial thermal imaging is easier to own and operate than you probably realize! Go to flymotionus.com to view all of the solutions we supply and get the most out of your missions.
It’s worthwhile to look back at the past—to never forget your roots and goals of becoming the best drone company in Florida. Back in November 2019, the FLYMOTION team was recognized as 1 of 50 Florida Companies To Watch through GrowFL.
GrowFL is dedicated to supporting and accelerating the growth of second-stage companies throughout the state of Florida. Since 2009, GrowFL has assisted more than 1000 companies through their strategic research and CEO Roundtable programs.
In November 2019, at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk in Orlando, FL, FLYMOTION accepted GrowFL’s 2019 Florida Company To Watch Award! We were selected from over 500 nominees as one of 50 Florida Companies To Watch. Our entire staff was and still is thrilled to be recognized for not only our growth track and future success, but the impact we continuously make on the Florida economy. Our goal of Supporting Those Who Serve is only enhanced by the recognition as a drone solutions provider.
After being chosen as a finalist, our CEO, Ryan English, was interviewed and GrowFL featured our company biography and history on their site. Below is a snippet with a link to the full article directly below.
“Ever since he could remember, Ryan English was always an entrepreneur. From mowing lawns in the summer to snow blowing driveways in the winter, he always expressed the qualities of a business owner.
“I thoroughly enjoy innovation,” he said. “It’s important to continue trying to push the envelope which is what I like about entrepreneurship; it allows you to create your own destiny.” After spending over 15 years in public safety, English decided it was time to pursue his passion for innovation and entrepreneurship—and so, FLYMOTION was born.”
We are excited to announce we have added 9 jobs yielding a 60% job growth rate between 2017 and 2018. During that same time, FLYMOTION has yielded a 284% increase in revenue growth as we provide public safety, government, and defense clients unmanned systems and innovative technology solutions.
Updated Part 107 Renewal Process
As some of you may know, the FAA has recently changed the process for renewing your Part 107 license. Previously, every 24 months a licensed remote pilot would be required to go to a testing center, pay the exam fee, and take the recurrent Part 107 exam. Lucky for us, the FAA has revised the Part 107 recurrent testing process. Effective 4/21/21, you will no longer need to go to a testing facility and pay $150. The process for a license renewal will be entirely online.
How to Renew a Part 107 License:
We have provided a step-by-step guide to complete the online renewal process:
- Go to the official FAA official site and log into your profile or create your account.
- Once logged in, go the Part 107 sUAS Recurrent – Non-61 Pilots training course. Once you have completed the course, you will take the online exam.
- Upon completion of the exam, if you pass, you will need to PRINT A HARD COPY OF THE RECURRENT CERTIFICATE for your records.
Other Important Rule Changes:
Previously, the Remote Pilot in Control (RPIC) was only required to show their Part 107 Certificate to FAA Officials requesting it. This changes with the new rules for Part 107, created on December 28th 2020, added to the Federal Register on March 16th 2021, and going into full effect on April 21st, 2021.
As of 4/21/21 you will be required to provide a HARD COPY (electronic version is NOT accepted) of ID, and any other “required FAA Documents” upon any request from any federal, state, or local agency.
This includes your ID, Part 107 license, Proof of Recurrency, Aircraft Registration, and any other “document, record, or report required to be kept under FAA regulations”. Physical copies of these documents are also required. Electronic versions on your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. will not be accepted. If you do not operate under these new procedures, you will not be in compliance with Part 107.
Effective March 16, 2021, in order to operate at night, you must have completed either the FAA knowledge test or the online training that contains the topics of night physiology and night visual illusion.
Another addition to regards the waiver system. Previously, a RPIC was required to apply for any waivers he or she would need after they had obtained their Part 107 license. Under the new rules, passing the online training and testing will now allow certain operations with it. The operations include:
- Operations over people (with specific limitations and UAS requirements)
- Operations from a moving land or water-borne vehicle over a sparsely populated area
All other operational waivers will still need to be applied for online.
Please feel free to reach out to our team with any questions regarding the Part 107 renewal, go to https://flymotionus.com/contact-us/ to get in touch with one of our experts today!
FLYMOTION has traditionally been seen as a company that provides the eco-system of drone technology solutions and services. It’s more than just drone technology. The eco-system encompasses training, mobile command centers, drone detection and more for public safety, government, defense, and critical infrastructure. While this is a core competency of our company, it’s only one part. FLYMOTION is very diversified in the end-to-end technology solutions we provide. FLYMOTION is much “more than drones.”
Connectivity is the foundation that holds technology stably in place today. FLYMOTION has organically grown into the connectivity vertical and provides multiple innovative technologies. Our team has done research and development to optimize the construction of networks, hardware, and devices for public safety, first responders, and critical infrastructure.
At the root of connectivity is 4G/LTE and the cellular providers. AT&T answers the call to connectivity with their priority, preemptive, first-responder only network called FirstNet. Verizon, another global network provider also has a dedicated network called Verizon Priority. FLYMOTION is fortunate to have partnerships with both of these providers to offer solutions and options to public safety.
Our goal is two-fold. The first is to provide state-of-the-art hardware solutions to critical first responders and personnel. Combining those devices with innovative software allows for easy streaming and accessibility in the field. Accessibility is only part of the software solution; connectivity is the other half.
An example of those capabilities is converting an incoming signal to usable WiFi. Wireless connectivity is an extremely valuable requirement by many of our clients. To fulfill this requirement, FLYMOTION has partnered with Cradlepoint, the leader in router technologies. Their multi-SIM technology allows end-users to join multiple carriers to create a singular, powerful WiFi source. FLYMOTION developed the Mission Case LTE to simplify this much-needed requirement for field operations. With an internal power source, solar connectivity, and a hard carrying case, this mission-critical solution is powered by Cradlepoint routers.
Cradlepoint’s Case Study
In a case study, Cradlepoint stated, “With public safety often at stake, FLYMOTION’s customers require their command and control vehicles and ruggedized communication kits to meet their needs 24/7. With all disaster response scenarios, constant wireless internet connectivity is essential. Capturing and sending real-time video expedites damage assessment and mapping of an affected area, but it also requires ample bandwidth.” (Credit: Cradlepoint)
FLYMOTION utilizes the Dejero portfolio of products because their focus lies within enhanced live-streaming. With that being said, connectivity is as important as live-streaming. Dejero’s systems blend diverse connectivity paths to deliver enhanced reliability, expanded coverage, and greater bandwidth. The various built-in satellite capabilities deliver low-latency reliable data. Field responders and/or organizations working remotely are able to experience the benefits firsthand.
Our partnership with Panasonic, the leader in ruggedized tablets and laptops, allows us to provide full-circle solutions for agencies and organizations. Our team can demonstrate which devices and services would benefit your team, given individual requirements.
“More Than Drones”
Additional devices we provide include the Samsung Galaxy series and Sonim products to allow our drone equipment to seamlessly blend into the ecosystem of connected technologies. With accessories for these like the nEar—the best in-ear and over-ear micro-speakers available—FLYMOTION will ensure you have everything necessary for ease of communication and emergency preparedness.
FLYMOTION takes pride in our diversified technology solutions. We design every solution with a specific purpose. That purpose is equipping the end-user with everything they need from training and operations to disaster and emergency response efforts.
Command vehicles have always been an asset in the field. Pairing mobile command vehicles with highly reliable connectivity makes disaster and critical responses easier. With confidence in your network, you can operate in any location and climate.
In the case study from Cradlepoint, “FLYMOTION was the world’s first provider of mobile drone command and control vehicles, which serve as home base for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, in the field. These products integrate technologies that enable live video acquisition, management, and distribution—all done in a mobile, centralized location. The company also extends its services outside the vehicles through ruggedized mobile communication and network kits, or the Mission Case LTE, which can be used to connect drones to command centers or to provide pop-up WiFi in remote locations.” (Credit: Cradlepoint)
Veteran-Owned; Supporting Those Who Serve
FLYMOTION is Veteran-owned and founded by public safety professionals. Our leadership team has the experience and fundamentals you would require, which gives us the innate ability to understand the requirements and provide end-to-end solutions that support those who serve. If FLYMOTION can assist your agency or organization with connectivity solutions, mobile device technology or training, please reach out to us.
Every day, the dangers of COVID-19 continue to threaten the health of “essential business” employees, medical workers, and first responders as they serve their communities. We have seen the extreme efforts made by all through social distancing, contactless interactions, and sheltering in place. But the question remains- how do we further protect our public servants with jobs where exposure is inevitable?
The many solutions FLYMOTION provides are assisting agencies nationwide in their response to the coronavirus.
During a recent interview with Fox News, Sgt. Tim Ehrenkaufer, head of Daytona Beach Police Department’s drone program, spoke on how their program is keeping DBPD officers safe during this worldwide pandemic. In 2017, FLYMOTION assisted DBPD in creating a state-of-the-art drone program, ready to assist with their daily operations such as search and rescue, fleeing suspects, and accident reconstruction.
“When COVID-19 showed up, we tried to think, ‘How can we leverage this same technology to help keep our officers and the community safe?’,” commented Ehrenkaufer.
DBPD has been able to use the versatile drone fleet provided by FLYMOTION to preserve officer safety. At a distance, DBPD patrols can deploy UAS platforms, equipped with speakers, to instruct large groups to disperse in order to comply with CDC guidelines.
“We could fly them over these crowds, make an announcement, a nice gentle announcement; nobody wants to be yelled at, and ask them if they could please just disperse for their safety and ours.”
In general, the “talking drones” have surprised the public, but have proved to be a highly effective tool. DBPD has seen 100% compliance with the orders issued by their FLYMOTION drone solutions.
“[We] send the drone in there to make the same announcement and keep the officer safe, keep the community safe, and keep everybody happy.”
Some of the uses cases presented by drones during this pandemic are:
- Patrol Areas and Inform the Public
- Deliver Critical Supplies
- Disinfect Hospitals and Public Spaces
- Thermal Sensing
Looking at this list, many wonder how drones could be used to disinfect an area.
Sgt. Ehrenkaufer summaries this capability well, “Some drones that have been slated for agriculture, have the ability to add sprayers to the arms of them and you can load it up with whatever disinfectant you want to use, fly it over the area, let it mist out, and disinfect the area. You essentially could get a whole park within a matter of 5-10 minutes instead of sending in a crew of 20 people taking 2 hours to wipe everything down.”
Once the drone has disinfected the area, how would you disinfect the drone? FLYMOTION offers a one-of-a-kind solution for this as well, the DDK (Drone Decon Kit). Engineered by our resident HazMat specialist and firefighter for Southern Manatee Fire Rescue, Rich Gatanis, the DDK is a must-have for any organization looking to use a drone in a potentially infectious or contaminated area. Traditional decontamination methods can corrode or damage critical components. The Drone Decon Kit, developed by FLYMOTION in partnership with First Line Technology, includes everything needed to safely decontaminate your drone.
Advanced approaches are essential in our response to the coronavirus pandemic. As we work to flatten the curve, save lives, and protect those on the front lines, FLYMOTION can help your team have success stories just like Daytona Beach Police Department and Southern Manatee Fire Rescue. Our solutions continue to Support Those Who Serve, especially in times of crisis.
LTE Enables Secure Drone-Delivered Data During Disaster Response | A Cradlepoint Case Study c/o FLYMOTION
In case you missed it, one of our partners Cradlepoint profiled FLYMOTION and our connectivity solutions as a case study. The below article was taken from their website; credit: Cradlepoint.
FLYMOTION sends its drone command and control vehicles, along with mobile communication kits, into emergency response situations. Thus, its customers rely on high performance, always-on LTE connectivity through NetCloud Service for IoT, including edge computing, SD-Perimeter technology for device-to-cloud security, and cloud configuration and troubleshooting, all delivered via an IoT gateway, to keep reports, videos, mapping, and images moving between field forces and headquarters.
FLYMOTION was the world’s first provider of mobile drone command and control vehicles, which serve as home base for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, in the field. These products integrate technologies that enable live video acquisition, management, and distribution—all in a centralized location that can be moved whenever necessary. The company also extends its services outside the vehicles through ruggedized mobile communication and network kits, or Mission Cases, which can be used to connect drones to command centers or to provide pop-up WiFi in remote locations.
“The Mission Case really is a ruggedized mobile connectivity solution for connecting anything requiring Internet access,” said Ryan English, FLYMOTION’s CEO and co-founder.
Beyond 110v outlet compatibility, Mission Case features the ability to be fielded during extended deployments. When generators are unavailable, field use can utilize internal battery power, with the minimum capacity of an 11-hour charge, which can also be augmented with solar panels for remote charging.
Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, FLYMOTION builds custom technology solutions, mostly for government agencies and security organizations throughout the world. Agencies have hired FLYMOTION to deploy its own integrated technologies on their behalf as part of disaster response and security operations.
With public safety often at stake, FLYMOTION’s customers require their command and control vehicles and ruggedized communication kits to meet their needs 24×7. Especially in disaster response scenarios, constant wireless Internet connectivity is essential. Capturing and sending real-time video expedites damage assessment and mapping of an affected area, but it also requires ample bandwidth.
For flexibility in a wide range of locations, public safety agencies also need the ability to easily switch from one carrier to another — and even, when necessary, to use multiple carriers simultaneously.
Anytime potentially sensitive public agency information is being collected, stored, and sent, data security is another important box to check. Additionally, FLYMOTION required a small and highly durable network solution for its Mission Cases.
In its mobile drone command and control vehicles. FLYMOTION integrated Cradlepoint’s dual-modem, enterprise-grade advanced edge routers, which fit nicely in the sizable equipment racks located inside each vehicle.
FLYMOTION’s Mission Cases leverage compact, ruggedized routers from Cradlepoint’s services, which enable multiple SIMs from different carriers in the same device.
To save money and man-hours FLYMOTION leveraged remote cloud management through Cradlepoint’s cloud management service, NetCloud Manager.
HIGHLY RELIABLE & FLEXIBLE WIRELESS WAN
High-performance LTE-enabled solutions help FLYMOTION and agencies stay connected to drone-delivered videos and photos during emergencies.
In mobile command vehicles, dual-modem functionality enables load balancing and multi-carrier, wireless-to-wireless failover. Also, with Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) functionality built into Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service, vehicles using multiple modems can have automated traffic steering between the two links based on preset metrics for latency, jitter, signal strength, and data usage. Mobile SD-WAN helps ensure optimal app performance and uptime.
In the communication kits, dual SIMs and Cradlepoint’s Auto Carrier Selection technology allow organizations to quickly — and remotely through NetCloud — switch from one carrier to another carrier that is offering better performance at that time. This level of flexibility is crucial during emergencies, as demonstrated post-Hurricane Irma in 2017, when crews for utility companies were using roving patrols in heavily damaged areas and needed to send data and messages to and from headquarters.
“To see these LTE-connected Mission Cases work in real-world operations as part of Hurricane Irma recovery efforts really proved the value,” English said.
While hundreds of cell towers were inoperable, FLYMOTION solutions — featuring high-gain antennas — ensured network access at a time when downtime would have been unacceptable.
SAVING TIME, SAVING LIVES
During the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, utility companies used constantly connected mobile communication kits and drones to streamline their disaster response and get services up and running as quickly as possible.
“With Cradlepoint’s help, FLYMOTION helped utility companies literally shave days off their Hurricane Irma restoration efforts, which in turn saved lives in facilities running low on generator fuel,” English said.
In the past, if a utility restoration crew came upon an inaccessible area, they would mark it and move on. After Irma, and with Cradlepoint’s LTE solution, FLYMOTION would deploy drones, get video footage and images of the remote sites and equipment, and send that data back to the customer immediately to enable timely and accurate prioritization of recovery efforts.
FLYMOTION was called upon by law enforcement to use its drones during search-and-rescue efforts when a 9-year-old girl was missing in Florida. She was found alive after an 18-hour search party.
“During an emergency, a solution that saves time is a solution that saves lives,” English said.
“As officials and volunteers searched for this missing child, we used our Mission Case with a Cradlepoint solution to live stream drone imagery to the command center,” English said.
LOCATION TRACKING FOR IMPROVED SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
Active GPS, supported by Cradlepoint solutions, enables geofencing and provides real-time information and alerts regarding the whereabouts of an agency’s vehicles and Mission Cases in the field. “Some agencies really embrace the active GPS functionality for location tracking, which boosts situational awareness in scenarios where real-time data is invaluable,” English said.
RUGGEDIZED FOR EXTREME CONDITIONS
FLYMOTION’s ruggedized Mission Cases, which meet the MIL-SPEC standard, include Cradlepoint’s ruggedized IoT routers that are able to withstand a vast array of conditions. The routers feature enterprise-grade operating specifications and protect against vibration, shock, dust, splash, and humidity. They continue working within a broad temperature range of -22 °F to 158 °F.
FLEXIBLE SECURITY OF SENSITIVE DATA
Cradlepoint’s all-in-one, enterprise-grade solutions provide the excellent security that agencies need for the sensitive data they gather.
“Information security is essential for public safety agencies. Cradlepoint’s inclusion of stateful firewall, VPN capabilities, content filtering, and other advanced security features in one solution has been a major benefit,” English said.
As needs arise, agencies can add Zscaler Internet Security for content filtering and CP Secure Threat Management for IPS/IDS, powered by Trend Micro.
Cradlepoint’s open API makes it easy for FLYMOTION to unite a wide variety of technologies, devices, and applications into one system.
“That is our pipeline — our central core — for network management. It’s all being run through there. Cradlepoint has made this piece quite easy,” English said.
REMOTE NETWORK MANAGEMENT
Whether in a FLYMOTION vehicle-based command center or a compact communication kit such as Mission Case, Cradlepoint’s connectivity solutions can be remotely monitored and managed through a single pane of glass, which can greatly reduce time spent troubleshooting connectivity challenges.
“That network visibility to control anytime and anywhere is a significant opportunity for time and cost savings that agencies can take advantage of through NetCloud Manager,” English said.