Percepto has received an approval for operating drones beyond line of sight
29 March, 2022
The approval was received for monitoring missions at Mekorot "Eshkol" site, and it follows previous approval granted from the FAA
Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) has approved the remote operation of Percepto Company’s drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The approval means that companies using Percepto drones to monitor their facilities no longer need an observer to be present during their operation, and to use Percepto-trained System Operator designation. This approval was granted in order to perform monitoring missions at national water company Mekorot at its Eshkol site as well as at other locations.
This approval is added to a similar approval Percepto received from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), to operate drones beyond visual line of sight in refineries in Tyler, Texas and El Dorado, Arkansas. Similar approvals were granted to other Percepto’s customers, such as Florida Power and Light (FPL), Verizon’s drones company and various customers across Italy, Australia, Spain and Norway. This type of approvals, individually granted by aviation authorities after validating safety aspects, are critical for the increasing usage of autonomous drones, since the need to keep an eye contact with the operator vastly limit the tasks that can be performed.
Operating drones Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is made possible thanks to the Autonomous Inspection and Monitoring (AIM) system developed by Percepto. The AI-based system allows managing and operating a fleet of drones through single unified control platform. This fleet may include other manufacturers’ drones and even non-autonomous ones, assign tasks, collect and share information received from the drones and supply insights regarding the facility. Actually, this system provide the drone with independent capabilities or safely managing the route, planning return time for recharge, photography and machine sight and also flying under severe weather and visibility conditions. The system is currently intended to be used for monitoring gas and oil pipelines, peripheral defense, solar farms maintenance, infrastructure sites and alike.
Drone in a box
Percepto Co-founder and CEO Dor Abuhasira says that getting the approval from aviation authorities, who are known to be rigor, is an acknowledgment of his company’s autonomous system to perform accurate analysis of multi-situations and safely fly the drones, sometimes even safer than manned flight. “The ability to trust the system to carry out its job without a drone operator, but only with Percepto’s system operator, significantly minimize hazards, reduce downtime, boost efficiency, and lower operational costs”.
Abuhasira estimates that the Israeli approval will lead to other approvals across the globe. “Drones’ independent operation will become a fundamental component in our activity”. Percepto was founded in 2014 by CEO Dor Abuhasira, Raviv Raz, Aviv Avitan and Sagi Blonder. The company estimates that currently the company is one of the ten leading autonomous drones companies in the field of sites monitoring. The drones are operational at hundreds of industrial and infrastructure sites across the USA, Australia, Israel and more.
The company has also developed an autonomous drones family, installed in a box (Drone-in-a-box). This drone operates autonomously based on scheduled missions or on-demand triggers, for routine tasks and emergency response, without human intervention. It also equipped with Percepto’s payload and includes thermal and 4K camera and communication module for direct communication with the robot and realtime video streaming using LCE cellular network.
Percepto, who raised $72.5 million since its foundation, employs more than 170 employees, and it currently increasing its manpower in the Modi’in R&D center at various roles and departments, including development, cloud, software, algorithmic, electronics and AI.