Doosan Partners with Iris Automation and Drone America for BVLOS Flight: Long-Endurance Aircraft, Real-Time Obstacle Avoidance

Doosan Partners with Iris Doosan's hydrogen droneDoosan Partners with Iris Automation and Drone America for commercial BVLOS flight.

Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) has announced a partnership with Iris Automation and Drone America. The companies will collaborate to integrate technologies and share operational resources to test and evaluate aircraft platforms and infrastructure to support commercial BVLOS operations.

Doosan, which has been manufacturing fuel cell technology since 2014, offers miniaturised fuel cell-powered systems for use in drones. Offering an energy density of up to four times more than traditional lithium batteries, according to DMI’s research and testing, and with a zero-emissions profile, Doosan’s Hydrogen fuel cell technology is capable of expanding BVLOS drone operations for commercial and public flight operations alike.

“The potential of hydrogen fuel cell drone technology that delivers the endurance and performance necessary to enable autonomous UAV flight, without carbon emissions, is huge,” said Soonsuk (Fran) Roh, DMI’s manager of Americas and Oceania business development. “This partnership is an excellent way to jumpstart the progress we can make by collaborating with two pioneers at the forefront of real-world UAV innovation to actually start BVLOS services.”

Iris Automation’s Casia provides UAVs with a way to see and react to the surrounding environment, allowing for real time airspace awareness during BVLOS operations.

“Getting to higher density, zero-emissions fuel is an important breakthrough for long-range drone operations,” said Lori DeMatteis, vice president of sales and marketing at Iris Automation. “As part of the overall drive to scale, it makes commercial operations increasingly viable and cost-effective. Given Doosan and Drone America’s leadership in this space and very practical roles in enabling drone operations, we’re excited to collaborate.”

Drone America specializes in medium to large scale unmanned aircraft, and provides commercial flight services to first responders, critical delivery, and infrastructure surveying and inspections. Drone America is currently developing a fleet of certified, above 55lb. aircraft. The fleet will incorporate both Doosan’s fuel cell systems and Iris’s Casia.

“Shaping the future of commercial BVLOS is not always about one person, but about the team that makes everything happen,” said Drone America President and CEO Mike Richards. “From design, engineering, and production to flight services, certification and training, everyone here represents the very best at what they do and a team that Drone America is proud to be a part of.”

Doosan Mobility Innovation, Iris Automation, and Drone America are looking forward to showcasing how their combined experience, technologies and expertise can help shape the future of BVLOS commercial operations. The companies will be attending CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where interested parties will be able to meet with representatives at the Doosan booth #5318.

Read more about Doosan hydrogen fuel cell technology and Iris Automation’s onboard obstacle avoidance.

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.