Canadian firms partner with Danish drone maker in UAV venture
A partnership between two Canadian companies and a Stovring, Denmark-based maker of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has reached its final integration phase.
Newfoundland-based businesses Solace Power, a wireless power solutions provider, and Agile Sensors Technology, a firm that makes sensors, and motor controllers, are working with Sky-Watch in the development of UAVs.
The three companies are on track to demonstrate in Canada the automated wireless recharge quadcopter they developed.
This is a major milestone in the partnership that was facilitated and funded by aerospace firm Boeing.
“Through our partnership with Sky-Watch, we’re able to bring together industry experts to deliver a product that could revolutionize the way customers monitor their installations,” said Kurt Maute, Boeing manager for international strategic partnerships in Denmark. “We’ve accomplished this while continuing to strengthen research and development in Denmark, promote public use and encourage internationalization of Danish UAV research and industry as outlined in the recently released Danish Drone Strategy.”
The exhibition, which is expected to take place this month, will showcase the capabilities of the new UAV to monitor above-ground pipelines and similar industrial systems.
Sky-Watch, with the support of Canadian-based research and development corporation C-CORE, will lead the team’s technology demonstration of precision landing and wireless recharging by the end of 2016.
A test flight of the fully-integrated prototype on an active pipeline in Canada expected in 2017. Once complete, the UAV system can be integrated into industrial monitoring systems and will provide an economical and reliable solution for customers.
“This technology has the potential to redefine how UAVs can support existing health and safety monitoring systems,” said Graylin Worcester, project coordinator in Boeing’s Phantom Works International organization. “Our team at Boeing has been working closely with our partners in both Denmark and Canada to help share knowledge in ways that bring the best of each company in support of this effort.”
The initial proof of concept was demonstrated by Solace, with the support of Boeing Phantom Works expertise in developing long-duration batteries and battery management systems. Following design and integration of the battery system, a successful demonstration was conducted in November 2015.
Over the past year, Sky-Watch developed a custom quadcopter that was then outfitted with Agile’s motor control system using real-time propulsion feedback and its precision landing technology.