Iris Automation Inks Drone Safety Agreement with Transport Canada

drones flying at sunset

Source: Iris Automation

California-based drone-tech provider Iris Automation is helping commercial drones over Canadian skies stay safer after the nation’s FAA equivalent, Transport Canada, chose the company’s Casia collision avoidance system as part of a new tech-demo program.

Conducted by the National Research Council Canada (NRC) on behalf of the agency, the Detect and Avoid trials evaluates the use of various types of DAA tech to inform future Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) regulations and standards.

What is Casia?

Iris’ Casia systems uses machine learning to detect unanticipated aircraft encounters and takes corrective action to avoid a potential mid-air collision. During the Canadian trials, the system will be integrated on a helicopter serving as a surrogate RPAS and then flight tested against various “intruder” trajectories flown by other NRC aircraft.

“These real-world encounter scenarios simulate the kinds of encounters that commercial drones face while operating beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), such as when conducting remote medical supply delivery, search-and-rescue, and precision agriculture monitoring,” an Iris Automation spokesperson added.

“We are proud to have been selected to be a part of this important demonstration program, Iris Automation CEO Jon Damush said.

“Transport Canada continues to take a leading role in establishing the best practices needed for safe unpiloted flights for commercial drones. With so much potential for commercial drone operations in Canadian airspace, Transport Canada understands the opportunity as well as the need for regulations required to integrate RPAS successfully into the airspace environment.”

Charting new partnerships

Creating UAS partnerships with federal agencies is nothing new for Iris Automation—the company participates in the FAA’s ASSURE program and BEYOND program to advance complex BVLOS UAS operations in the U.S. National Airspace System.

In February, Iris launched the Canada Pathfinder Program, an all-in-one solution to streamline the complex steps required to achieve Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight approvals and experience.

The company partnered with two of Canada’s top remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) testing facilities for support, training and proving of BVLOS flight competency – Foremost UAS Test Range in Alberta and UAS Center of Excellence (CED) in Alma, Quebec.

In September, Iris extended its BVLOS reach, sparking a corporate partnership with drone-tech company Volatus Aerospace.