Once it is published it will be available on this page in an official form. Until then, you can download the unpublished PDF version.
Although we make a concerted effort to reproduce the original document in full on our Public Inspection pages, in some cases graphics may not be displayed, and non-substantive markup language may appear alongside substantive text. If you are using public inspection listings for legal research, you should verify the contents of documents against a final, official edition of the Federal Register. Only official editions of the Federal Register provide legal notice to the public and judicial notice to the courts under 44 U.S.C. 1503 & 1507. Learn more here.
Zenith AeroTech Delivers Two Tethered Drones to Federal Law Enforcement Agency
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Today, heavy-lift tethered aerial vehicles (TAVs) leader Zenith AeroTech announced that it has delivered two Quad 8 TAVs to a Federal law enforcement agency for use as a command overwatch solution during emergency response missions.
Both Quad 8s were specially designed to satisfy the request of the customer for a long-endurance aerial platform capable of simultaneously transporting electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) video cameras, a communications relay system, and overhead, high-intensity light panels. The Quad 8 is able to manage a total of 20 pounds, more than double the necessary capacity to sustain the camera, communications relay, and two 17,000-lumen, weather-resistant LED panels.
“The client wanted an overwatch capability to help secure their area of operations during emergency response efforts, and unlike regular, untethered drones, our TAVs can stay in the air for days at a time while carrying a variety of payloads,” said Zenith AeroTech chairman Kutlay Kaya. “This smart tether system allows the operator to focus completely on the mission, which at the end of the day, is the most important thing.”
“These high-powered lights are ground-controlled for intensity and on/off functions,” said Zenith AeroTech lead designer Doganc Kucuk. “And when they are activated, it becomes like daytime on the ground.”
From 200 to 400 feet in the air, the Quad 8 TAV is fueled by the Ground Power Unit (GPU). The GPU converts AC voltage into high-voltage DC power for the Quad 8 and its payloads, while also running an automated management system capable of operating even during harsh weather conditions.
Recently, Zenith AeroTech has been collaborating with universities, military organizations, and large communications providers, with the development of more end-user applications expected to result in major market growth for its systems.
Read more about Zenith AeroTech:
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.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies. For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
At the National Sheriffs’ Association annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, the K-State Salina Applied Aviation Research Center staff was front and center, exhibiting the latest in drone technology and how law enforcement can better utilize the technology in everyday situations.
“To be in front of hundreds of law enforcement officers from all around the country and be able to showcase the K-State Salina UAS expertise was an excellent opportunity,” said Spencer Schrader, K-State Salina UAS flight operations manager. “Leading discussions on safety, the latest technology and information on our campus’s professional development program will lead to life-saving measures that first responders can utilize in real-world emergency situations.”
Schrader was one of the presenters for NSA Talks, an informational session on “Drones as a First Responder” and special considerations for individuals in the public safety industry. Schrader also assisted with exhibits on small UAS commercial remote pilot training, sponsored and judged the conference’s drone competition and exhibition, and provided the National Institute for Standards and Technology “Bucket Challenge” for a drone competition where participants must maneuver a drone to be able to see and identify the targets in each bucket.
While the conference served as an opportunity for the Applied Aviation Research Center, K-State Salina’s Professional Education and Outreach team was able to showcase its professional development training program specific for public safety individuals at the convention.
“K-State Salina remains at the forefront of training in the public safety industry,” said Courtney Hoffman, assistant director of K-State Salina Professional Education and Outreach. “Our year-round programs utilize the expertise of our Applied Aviation Research Center staff to bring training and continuing education to law enforcement and public safety professionals. This is critical to provide safety and life-saving techniques to law enforcement while utilizing drones.”
BOTHELL, Wash. — Drones have become increasingly popular tools for law enforcement departments across the country. Huntsville, Alabama is one such place, with a very successful drone program that was implemented with careful planning and support from city leaders. The program is increasing in size and scope, and the successes are attracting attention from neighboring agencies.
Huntsville, with a population of 216,000, prides itself on being a “technology-driven” city, and has been for much of its history. Huntsville was one of the early homes of the U.S. rocketry programs and that earned it the nickname “The Rocket City.”
Huntsville Police Department first started looking into drones in 2017. The
department was originally looking for drones that could support officers with rea- time intelligence, as well as collecting forensic and crime scene information.
In early 2019, HSVPD sought the counsel and partnership support from our trusted technology provider, Westwind Computer Products Inc. regarding what sUAS and supporting solutions were available. It was found that the Autel Evo II platform suited our needs and created our foundation of success.
Unlike some other drone programs around the country, this one had support from commanders and city leaders. The higher-ups understood the potential value of a drone program. Unlike many programs that start from the ground up, often with pilots bringing drones they personally own, Hunstsville developed a plan for their program long before purchasing drones.
HSVPD took about a year to develop and fine tune their plan and training, with support from the police chief and city leaders. This helped them determine mission roles and other important information, allowing them to make the most informed decisions possible.
HSVPD took an approach they called “patrol embedded.” Drone pilots are patrol officers working across all precincts. This approach was highly effective for several reasons.
“These officers can respond to an event in precinct in under 5-10 minutes, or are on scene anyway as part of their patrol duties. We have also found that this model takes advantage of the officer’s knowledge of the area and each precincts unique needs.”
A Program that Works The drone program quickly proved its worth. “Our first operation year, we flew a little over 300 flights with 9 pilots. Last year, we flew 1,500 plus flights. We are able to provide major support to traffic investigation, drug interdiction, and special teams. It is still work to help everyone understand how this resource can benefit day-to-day operations, but I am really amazed at the breadth of mission types we are now flying. For example with traffic investigations, THI usually does not have to wait for a pilot, they are already on scene,” said Chad Tillman of Huntsville PD. Drone use has increased about 300 percent per year, and they’ve played a vital role in a wide range of police missions.
Seattle, Munich, and Silicon Valley. For more information, visit https:// www.autelrobotics.com, or follow Autel Robotics on Facebook, Instagram, or subscribe to the Autel Robotics YouTube Channel. In 2021, HSVPD flew drones 1241 times for a total of 273 flight hours. They have 16 Autel EVO IIs and two Brinc Lemurs S drones. They added 16 pilots to their roster, for a total of 21 pilots and 7 in reserve. Tillman continues on. “About 80% of our mission support flights are rated ‘positive effect on mission outcome,’ with 25% rated ‘critical to mission success.’ The Autel EVO II has been a game changer for us. With its ease of use, long mission time and durability, we know we can trust our aircraft to perform when called on.”
Along with the drones themselves, Autel’s Enterprise add-ons have proven valuable. The ability to stream information via the Live Deck was notably valuable; HSVPD is able to share information with officers in the field, command teams, and other agencies.
The program’s success has also garnered interest from neighboring agencies. “We are now starting to provide mutual aid to surrounding agencies and the most common comment we hear is. ‘Wow, we sure like your Autels.’ We are also trying to ‘guide’ other agencies toward Autel. We love to hear, ‘I wish my 180k drone did what your Autel does.’”
What’s Next for HVSPD?
HSVPD plans to continue training officers, establishing command and control infrastructure, and coordinating with other departments. “We are going to continue with the embedded program. We also are adding trained Visual Observers. This is being done by offering a class each quarter to train 20-25 VOs. We are also going to add a minimum of six pilots a year…We will also be training senior pilots to function as NAMACC sUAS ops officers and sUAS traffic management. We are building out an sUAS support vehicle and hope to be able to add a dedicated van in the future.”
The budget is an ongoing consideration, though it seems like HSVPD is doing a good job of proving the program’s worth, and they’re starting to work with other departments to develop their own drone programs. “We are also beginning up a statewide sUAS working group that focuses on law enforcement sUAS use. This will be used to bring state agencies together to discuss, train, and plan sUAS programs and usage.”
About Autel Robotics Autel Robotics is a team of industry professionals with a genuine passion for technology and years of engineering experience. Since its founding in 2014, Autelhas always striven for customer-driven innovation and is continually working to raisethe industry standard for drones. The company’s headquarters is in Shenzhen, the heart of China’s tech industry; it also has R&D bases around the world including Seattle, Munich, and Silicon Valley.
DroneShield is pleased to advise it has received its initial order via a GSA schedule from a U.S. Government law enforcement and public safety agency.
GSA Schedule (U.S. General Services Administration, or also referred to as Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) and Federal Supply Schedule) is a United States long-term government-wide contract with commercial firms providing federal, state, and local government buyers access to more than 11 million commercial supplies (products) and services.
DroneShield products are available for U.S. State, local, and tribal governments through GSA Multiple Award Schedule under Special Item Number (SIN) 334290, or alternatively via GSA’s Cooperative Purchasing Program.
The public safety project includes multiple DroneSentry-C2, DroneShield’s enterprise command-and-control system, DroneShield RfOne long-range UAS direction finder sensors, and RadarZero small form-factor radar.
Matt McCrann, CEO of DroneShield LLC (DroneShield U.S. subsidiary), commented, “State, local and tribal governments have a growing need for drone detection solutions. Often the procurement process presents complexity for Government end users to field the capabilities needed across their organizations. Our availability on the GSA Schedule provides an easy-to-use contract vehicle for them to acquire this capability and field effective counterdrone solutions. With DroneShield solutions now on GSA, Government agencies have the confidence of receiving proven products at competitive pricing.”
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield CEO, added, “We welcome onboard our first customer through GSA, and anticipate for this to be one of numerous U.S. deployments. Purchasing via GSA is also a great indicator of increasing maturity and scale of the C-UAS market, whereby the acquisitions move from experimental budgets to streamlined large acquisition processes.”
UAV Solutions, Inc. (UAVS) announced that the company has delivered and trained DoD and Law Enforcement Agency operators on its AsUAS Ghost 60 Multi-Rotor system.
The Ghost 60 system was selected by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) Special Operation/Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) formerly the Counter-Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) for their Affordable small UAS (AsUAS) program in January of 2020.
Operators from fourteen DoD & Other Government Agencies (OGA) requested and have been provided training and prototypes for Operational Test and Evaluation thus far.
Under the IWTSD AsUAS program UAVS will deliver 44 systems totalling 88 air vehicles plus ground control stations, support equipment, and training. Total contract value is $2.3 M including the base costs. During development special attention was given to maintain and ensure compliance with Section 848 of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Executive Order 13981 making this system acceptable for U.S. Government procurement and use. The Ghost 60 sUAS is a backpackable platform with 56 minutes of endurance when carrying the UAVS 400-gram EO/IR payload. Alternate payloads include: a miniature gimbled laser target designator, droppable resupply pod, and any other 3 rd party system with network connection up to 900-grams in weight.
“UAV Solutions has a history of supporting IWTSD programs with rapid turnaround times and with high-quality products,” stated Billie Ann Davidson, President of UAV Solutions. “With our full-service manufacturing capabilities, including in-house engineering, composite layup, machining, and 3D-printing, we can take concept designs and translate them into functioning components and systems to meet strict customer requirements.”
UAV Solutions, Inc. is a woman-owned small business and has supported its DOD customers most important missions for over fifteen years. Located in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor UAVS state of the art facility allows for the design, manufacture, and sales of innovative unmanned systems and sub-components.