Speedbird Commercial Drone Delivery Chooses Elsight for Drone Connectivity
Speedbird Commercial Drone Delivery Chooses Elsight for Drone Connectivity

Elsight drone connectivityBrazilian commercial drone delivery company Speedbird has chosen Elsight for drone connectivity solutions to enable their fleet.

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Speedbird Aero is an emerging drone industry player, disrupting supply chain technology throughout Latin America and across the globe with industrial and medical drone delivery.  Remote operations and reliable, robust drone delivery systems require reliable and robust connectivity between drone and command and control platforms.  Speedbird has chosen Halo, Elsight’s bonded connectivity solution, to power it’s fleet.  The solution will enable Speedbird to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) for planned parcel delivery services.

Elsight introduced their new business model of connectivity-as-a-service earlier this year: Speedbird represents the first customer under the new business model, which reduces upfront hardware costs.  As BVLOS operations increase in the U.S. and around the globe, Elsight is positioned as a major technology enabler of advanced operations, from remote security services to package delivery and more.

Elsight has already delivered the first order of Halo sets on a contract of at least $72,00 USD and a potential value of $520,000 in 2023.

“This decision by Speedbird to select Elsight as their partner, leveraging the Halo as their BVLOS drone connectivity solution, is another confirmation of the Halo’s capabilities and of Elsight as a tech-enabler for the entire BVLOS drone industry,”says Yoav Amitai, Elsight CEO.  “Halo will ensure complete connection confidence for Speedbird’s commercial delivery drones. Much as Speedbird has begun rapidly expanding their drone fleet and operations, and are expecting to continue this exponential growth, we look forward to receiving orders on a similar scale from Elsight’s other partners in the BVLOS drone industry.” 

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Now is the Right Time for BVLOS Operations – Elsight on the Enabling Power of Mobile Networks
Now is the Right Time for BVLOS Operations – Elsight on the Enabling Power of Mobile Networks

drone connectivity, drones and mobile networks, BVLOS(News and Commentary.) Drone connectivity experts Elsight on flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), and how drones and mobile networks make BVLOS feasible and safe, right now.

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BVLOS flight is of critical importance to the drone industry.  In the US, as advocates petition the FAA for quick action on Aviation Rulemaking  Committee (ARC) recommendations, providers offering supply chain and delivery services, security operations, long-range survey and mapping are ready to take flight as regulations allow.

Elsight makes the Halo, a small form-factor, AI-powered drone connectivity platform.  Halo is designed to solve a critical requirement of BVLOS drone operations: reliable, predictable connectivity between the aircraft and command and control.  In a new paper, Elsight presents a new concept for BVLOS flight – and explains how drones and mobile networks are the way to make it happen: without years of development or major expense.

A New Concept of BVLOS Flight: Drone Network Operations Center

BVLOS flight is commonly understood as simply flying a drone out of sight of the operator. That can mean delivering products 3 or 4 miles away, or it can mean operating a drone on the other side of a tall building or fence, out of sight of the pilot.

That’s only one understanding of BVLOS flight – and “the truth is that BVLOS is much more than that,” says Elsight.  Elsight’s global clients understand BVLOS flight in the context of truly remote operations: of one pilot managing multiple drones launching, flying and landing miles away, from a centralized Drone Network Operations Center (DNOC). With one operator and multiple aircraft, the value proposition of drone technology is amplified.

BVLOS operations coupled with use of a DNOC (Drone Network Operation Center) will exponentially increase the possible UAS applications along with the distance. Agricultural operators will be able to cover fields which are tens or hundreds of acres in size with many UAS at once; utilities operators can simultaneously use UAS to inspect miles worth of cables or pipes, and retailers and fulfillment centers can carry out greater numbers of efficient mid-mile or last-mile deliveries. These are just a few of the use cases which are made available to the drone market once operators can take full advantage of flying their drones beyond the Visual Line of Sight.

Drones and Mobile Networks

For safe remote operations, aircraft must remain reliably connected to the DNOC.  That’s a challenge, but Elsight argues that the solution is at hand now: and there is no need to spend years on new development.  Mobile networks are cheap, readily available, and effective – especially as the 5G rollout continues.

The widespread use of cellular phones and other mobile devices, as well as the proliferation of telecom companies who are striving to increase their coverage over as wide an area as possible, creates a fortuitous situation where drone operators can benefit from the wide range of communications networks made available to them without the need to find new spectrums and deploy new networks, which takes years, or create a new communications paradigm.

While Unlicensed RF and Satellite offer alternatives, both of these solutions require a receiver which adds weight to the aircraft.  Mobile networks don’t require a significant investment to utilize, and are already globally deployed according to common technological standards in most areas.

The Benefits of 5G

As the 5G rollout continues, it will become even more practical and effective to utilize mobile networks for drone communications, says Elsight.  5G will further increase reliability, security, and reception compared to 4G – decreasing the risk of disconnection and ensuring smooth data streams.   Network slicing has the potential to provide UAS with a dedicated slice of the 5G network.

BVLOS flight, and the operation of multiple flights from a DNOC, is a transformative technology.  Drones operating BVLOS have the potential to act as a force multiplier in a vast number of industries, helping to solve critical problems in food production, supply chain, and environmental conservation.  Both the aircraft and the supporting technology already exist to make BVLOS flight safe and feasible.

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Auterion Integrates Elsight Halo with Skynode for Multi-Network Broadband Connectivity
Auterion Integrates Elsight Halo with Skynode for Multi-Network Broadband Connectivity

Auterion integrates ElsightAuterion Integrates Elsight into Auterion Ecosystem for Multi-Network Broadband Connectivity

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Today, open-source drone software platform creator Auterion has announced that it will be incorporating Elsight into its growing ecosystem. Elsight’s Halo communications module is able to be seamlessly integrated into drones and other autonomous systems, and is now being made available for Auterion ecosystem partners through its integration with Skynode.

“Elsight is a leader in providing drone connectivity solutions, and the Halo integration further strengthens connectivity functionality for Auterion customers,” said Auterion’s vice president of engineering, Markus Achtelik. “Halo runs connections with different carriers at the same time, combining multiple, flexible communication links with advanced bonding algorithms to provide a multi-network, agnostic solution, ideal for communications in beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights. Those flights are fast becoming the present and future of commercial drone use.”

Having dependable communications and data connectivity is essential to the deployment of enterprise drones. Radio frequency connectivity sometimes struggles with range and line-of-sight issues, and satellite connectivity, despite its exceptional range, coverage and uptime, can have issues with latency and budget. Reliable cellular connectivity fulfills all field requirements, while also foregoing issues with bandwidth and cost. Elsight’s Halo provides a multi-SIM solution that connects to multiple cellular providers, checking for channels suffering from communications “dead zones” and automatically rerouting to the channel with the most suitable connection.

“We’re thrilled about the integration of Halo with Skynode,” said Elsight’s vice president of product and business development, Ronny Vatelmacher. “Halo’s state-of-the-art module provides a degree of reliability and safety that’s close to 100%. It offers full redundancy, high bandwidth, low latency, data security, and overall operational safety by aggregating all available IP links, 4G, LTE and 5G cellular and others as necessary, into one bonded link. Combine that with Auterion’s autonomous mobility platform and you’ve got an unbeatable BVLOS solution, boosting your chances of obtaining regulatory certification. Robust flight control systems like Auterion’s Skynode are important to regulators considering BVLOS drone ops. Of course, the integration helps with VLOS too, when there are areas where the reception of a specific carrier is bad.”

Auterion’s continuously growing open-source ecosystem offers customers flexible solutions that meet enterprise quality, scale and regulatory requirements.

“Auterion’s partnership with Elsight is the continued execution of our strategy to build the largest drone ecosystem based on open source and open standards, which provides end users with the best options,” Achtelik added. “Our ecosystem flywheel is driving the growth of our platform. More partners are joining the Auterion ecosystem which, in turn, is attracting more partners. That cycle leads to greater solutions for end users.”

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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.

r/drones - Drone donations to Ukraine
Drone Connectivity Solutions: Elsight Delivers Communications for Multi-Domain Autonomous Ops

drone connectivityElsight Delivers Connection Solutions for Multi-Domain Autonomous Operations

By: Dawn Zoldi

Elsight, an Israeli-based company that provides artificial intelligence-enabled communications connectivity solutions is best known for its enablement of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. Its seminal product, Halo, enables much more: one-to-many drone operations, multi-domain autonomous vehicle operations and even non-vehicle related bi-directional remote operations (think: synchronous educational classes). The company continues to refine its connection confidence” solution and has big plans for 2022.

The Origins of Connection

Two former members of the Israeli Special Forces who had the foresight to innovate the world of video and audio transmission founded Elsight in 2009. The company initially focused on supporting reliable communications for military, homeland security and law enforcement operators. It primarily provided connectivity for video backhauling. Its first product streamed video from tactical units in the field to operations centers and headquarters.

The company rapidly expanded to the commercial sector. By 2017, Elsight had successfully integrated its proprietary 6th Sense” Artificial Intelligence into an overall communications solution set. This AI-logic core autonomously and automatically leverages the strongest IP connection signals and bonds them together to ensure connectivity and maximum available bandwidth in real-time.That same year, Elsight went public on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

While Elsights connectivity solution continued to provide optimized networked communication connectivity for defense and public safety sectors and other markets, such as remote education, a market analysis led company leaders to focus on multi-domain unmanned autonomous systems. This led to the creation of Halo.

Yoav Amitai, the companys CEO described the Halo product: It leverages the best signal or connection type available, ranging from RF to LTE, to 4G, to satellite communications and then bonds multiple signals together into one connection. It switches connections autonomously and seamlessly without degradation in the required bandwidth or signal.” He continued, Like switching an engine mid-flight, we can switch connections mid-flight.”

In 2019, Elsight made the Halo solution commercially available.

The BVLOS Solution

With 6th Sense as the core intelligence, Halo, a baked-in or plug-and-play hardware and software solution, can easily integrate into various designs and platforms. It is modular, configurable, or standalone and backed up by a cloud.

Heres how it works:  Halo encapsulates the incoming traffic into an encrypted VPN tunnel, which is then broken into pieces. Each piece is sent through a different link, based on capacity and quality, to the Elsight cloud-service, together with redundancy. All the encrypted parts are received in the cloud service where they are re-puzzled, re-sequenced and de-duplicated, and the restored stream is forwarded to the Elsight VPN service. Any ground station in the world can then securely connect to the VPN service, and communicate with all connected drones.

The Halo application provides ultimate visibility, management, and control features to allow clients to prioritize signals based upon a multitude of parameters such as Signal Quality, Preferred Network Provider, Preferred Connection Type, Data Thresholds, and Cost. This allows Elsights clients to educate” and personalize their AI-logic core by individual Halo, by account, by client, by solution, or by geo-location deployment, to name just a few.

Its extensive cloud management platform called Allsight Cloud Manager allows for Elsights clients or partners to manage the devices, connections and secure data transfer from anywhere. Clients can also use their own cloud. The system is platform agnostic on every level.

Three Key Benefits of Solid Drone Connectivity

Amitai also explained the three key benefits of utilizing Halo:

1. Reliability – In the background, transparent to the operator, Halo constantly ensures that all links are connected. If they are not, the system will restream the information to a different link autonomously. This provides critical redundancy. The system allows pilots to focus on other important things without having to worry about one of the most critical elements: connectivity,” said Amitai. Halo provides for robust, reliable and resilient operations with the click of a button.” This is critical for both BVLOS and one-to-many drone and other autonomous vehicle operations.

2. Bandwidth – Halo provides high quality streamed video from any platform to remote locations, because links are aggregated. Amitai explained, If you get 5 megabits per second from each one of the cellular carriers, then combining several of these will yield 20 megabits. This makes for a more robust signal and better quality stream.” The channel is also 2-way, providing high quality information wherever needed.

3. Security – Elsight designed the system fully encrypted for high level cybersecurity. Because we grew up in the military and defense theaters, we are very versed in onsite, federated, secure deployments within more secure and managed facilities,” noted Amitai. Cybersecurity is not only important for government organizations, but for all remote operations.

Global Reach

In 2020, Elsight began delivering its critical network access to customers on a global scale. This was no easy feat.

According to Ben Gross, Elsights Director of Marketing, We had to obtain special permission from the Israeli government to sell our technology commercially and globally because of the sensitivity that it provides end-users with such an incredible technological advantage. We had to work really hard to take off those handcuffs.”

And so they did. Now, Elsight offers the Halo solution to global clients and partners who leverage it across a broad swath of use cases. Because we are in the BVLOS market, we provide a full suite of solutions to enable those operations, to enable all types of those operations, whether military or commercial,” said Gross.

In Israel, the company has supported  more than ten thousand beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone deliveries as part of the countrys National Drone Initiative called NAAMA. Co-driven by Israels Innovation Authority, Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Transport, Ayalon Highways and few others, the project aims to create a vibrant drone ecosystem through industry collaboration and regulatory development. It consists of an 8 phase program, split into quarterly 2-week long demonstrations.

In late 2021 we participated in NAAMA Phase 3, where drone deliveries took over Tel-Avivs metropolitan skies, delivering ice cream, sushi, beer, blood samples and many more across a large, populated area,” lauded Gross. The Halo solution proved out to be 99.9% reliable during these demos.

Outside of Israel, the companys main market focus is in the US. Elsight has recently partnered with DroneUp, the company working with big retail outfits on last mile drone deliveries.

In addition to the DroneUp deal, TD Synnex, an organization created from the merger of multi-billion dollar resale companies Tech Data and Synnex, recently added Halo to its solution deck. TD Synnex is one of the worlds largest technology distributors that helps companies like HP, Apple, Cisco, Microsoft and hundreds of others bring their products to market.

Elsights products have also made their way into European, the Middle-Eastern, Australian, Latin American and several Asian markets. Its team works with both private and government owned entities to enable their connectivity needs for drone-delivery, mapping and surveying operations. Its global partners also include global drone manufacturers and flight computer providers that integrate Halo into their products.

2021 was a big year for company growth, as the Halo system took off during the pandemic. Gross reflected, The pandemic highlighted the need to bridge the digital divide for remote businesses to allow individuals and teams to connect to each other. Elsight took on the mission to close that gap across a range of efforts from healthcare, to education, to logistical services.”

Over the Horizon

As for whats next for Elsight, the company will continue evolving its tech, among other things, incorporating 5G and building out the digital infrastructure needed for repeatable, safe and scalable autonomous vehicle operations.

The company also will engage in the next phase of the NAAMA demos in March 2022 and other research and development with partners globally. It also plans to have a presence at AUVSI Xponential 2022 in Orlando, Florida at the end of April.

The company continues to seek partnerships across a variety of different concepts of operations, both military and commercial.

Gross emphasized, Elsight is excited to continue our engagement with our current clients, partners, and companies that are pulling us into broader solutions and integration discussions. Those areas include leveraging our military level secure data transfer, data assimilation, comprehensive UAV/Drone lifecycle and business operation management, global connectivity aggregation, and integrated blackbox drone solutions.”

Missed Dawn’s interview with Elsight?  Stream it now: Elsight on Dawn of Drones This Week: AI-Powered Drone Connectivity Solution

Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, USAF, Retired) is a licensed attorney with 28 years of combined active duty military and federal civil service to the Department of the Air Force. She is an intIernationally recognized expert on unmanned aircraft system law and policy, a columnist for several magazines,recipient of the Woman to Watch in UAS (Leadership) Award 2019, President and CEO of UAS Colorado and the CEO of P3 Tech Consulting LLC. For more information, visit her website at: https://www.p3techconsulting.com.

Elsight on Dawn of Drones This Week: AI-Powered Drone Connectivity Solutions
Elsight on Dawn of Drones This Week: AI-Powered Drone Connectivity Solutions

Don’t miss Elsight on Dawn of Drones this week, Wednesday February 23 at 11:00 am EST!  Stream below:

The CARAHSOFT PARTNER SERIES, with Elsight on Dawn of Drones this week!

We continue Dual Use Technologies Month, graciously sponsored by Northop Grumman, with Elsight CEO Yoav Amitai.

This Israel-based company is providing BVLOS (Beyond the Visual Line of Sight) drone connectivity powered by AI. Learn how they are helping the global drone industry achieve absolute connection confidence to operate BVLOS in both the military and civilian sectors!

The Carahsoft Partner Series endows and highlights Carahsoft’s UAS Government Solutions. Carahsoft is the premier reseller that delivers cutting-edge government IT solutions at the best value. The companies featured in this series are proud members of the Carahsoft ecosystem that provide comprehensive end-to-end UAS ecosystem solutions for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments.

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