You’ve probably had the chance to make a long 2-state day trip for the opportunity to demonstrate to a prospective client your problem-solving technology that accomplishes things your competitors cannot. You’ve made your plan, tested your hardware, assembled your team early in the morning, pounded across the Midwest prairie, met your client in his high-technology facility, told your story, pulled your unique leading-edge hardware out of its transportation case – – and then startled your client with an afternoon of successful drone imaging missions.
Or, maybe you haven’t.
That’s pretty much what the DA field team did on Wednesday, January 6.
Well, it was a long challenging day. A zillion things can go wrong in a long technical day. For example, the breakfast menu screen in your Big Chain highway-stop restaurant might get infected with the Blue Screen Of Death and cause a delay in your waffle order.
But: despite a few minor obstacles, we were able to successfully accomplish our major objectives:
set up the Aertos drone to fly indoors in a complicated dusty space with narrow access opening, confined quarters, and no GPS
execute several sustained-flight missions for our client
demonstrate in these real-world instances the unique capabilities of the Aertos drones, our FGC flight code technology, and the DA team.
So, take a look. Here’s some imagery we obtained flying in the interior of a decommissioned coal bunker:
This was not an easy flight. No one had been inside this structure in more than a decade, and concrete spalling and rusting beams presented some treacherous hazards. The risks were significant.
The Aertos drone flew like a champ and completed numerous missions, navigating predictably indoors and in a challenging environment without access to the GPS signals that the drones from our competition depend on.
We’ve worked on our technology for years – ever since realizing that what we learned while we grew our roots in space navigation could capably serve terrestrial drones. We intend to unlock the 50% of the world that up until now has not been accessible to commercial UAVs that can’t navigate stably without signals from earth-orbit satellites. We deploy Aertos UAVs with our proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code into mines, warehouses, and power plants, and around dense instructure that defeats other commercial inspection drones.
The tech team at the power plant was impressed — and they told us so. Aertos drones will soon be flying lots of missions for this power company.
And, that’s a good day – even if the breakfast screen at Denny’s had a Blue Screen Of Death.
The flight team had an eventful weekend in early December.
We arranged with a major energy plant in the Midwest to fly an Aertos 120 inspection drone inside their facility – to look for the small steam leak we’d heard about. This facility provides energy to major facilities and metropolitan infrastructure.
The risks were significant: the plant would not shut down during the flight, and the Digital Aerolus team and the facility must trust in the technology that allows Aertos drones to navigate indoors and in challenging environments where signals from GPS satellites are not available.
The power generating facility is sturdy and timeworn: deliberate, overbuilt, and dense with looming tangles of pipe, brick, and steel. The twisted maze of tubes and passageways and the anachronistic Steampunk surroundings gave us the feeling we were exploring the past.
We believe in our technology; Digital Aerolus is unlocking the 50% of the world that up until now has not been accessible to exploration by commercial UAVs that don’t know how to navigate stably without signals from earth-orbit satellites. We’re deploying Aertos UAVs with proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code to fly indoor and underground missions – – in mines, warehouses, and power plants, and around dense instructure that defeats other commercial inspection drones.
In the 3-camera video stream below, the Aertos 120 drone conducts several slow passes inside the facility’s large room to complete a sustained 6+-min. flight mission examining pipes, tanks, and infrastructure. The payload includes 2 onboard hi-res cams: a Foxeer Predator Micro FPV, and a gimbal-mounted Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
This mission was a success. While we did not discover any steam leaks on this particular flight, we demonstrated the reliability of our technology and earned the respect and trust of the facility team. They’ve invited us to return and conduct deeper missions that will help the company. Stand by for more. Perfect!
It turns out that flying a drone underground isn’t that easy.
You’ve seen drones before: flying at the park, hoovering in your back yard, surveying real estate, for sale at the Discount Club, maybe at your kid’s birthday party. But, every one of those drones – machines that that cost anywhere from $10 through a few thou$and – shares something: they can’t fly stably without GPS signals from earth satellites. Some inexpensive drones do fly indoors, but they’re too small, erratic, and clumsy to carry a meaningful payload. The popular $1K-range consumer drones from Chinese companies fly well enough support a nice camera, but only outdoors — and after they take a few minutes to lock onto satellites with their GPS receivers.
Digital Aerolus is committed to developing the next generation of flying robots: drones and other vehicles that are smart enough to complete useful tasks with minimal input from operators. Today, we use advanced robotics, rugged construction, and our proprietary Folded Geometry Code (FGC)™ OS to build drones capable of flying indoors, underground, and in other challenging spaces.
Here’s why the Aertos 120™ inspection drone excels in a challenging underground environment like a mine:
innovative ducted fan propulsion protects spinning blades from contacting cave walls or the operator’s hand
rugged carbon fiber frame allows the drone to survive rocky collisions with no damage
high-math FGC™ operatng system does not require GPS for stable, predictable indoor and underground flight
gimballed camera with powerful illuminator defeats dark environments
rapid near-instant deployment allows simple and easy launch & land
In the video below, novice pilot Jenna Squires runs the Aertos 120™ through some of its paces in a limestone mine in Lenexa, KS.
We’re headed back to that mine soon – for a more challenging exploration of the cave. Stand by for more from the DA team!
[& yes, Dave P. I know that drones “hover” instead of “hoover”. Turn your guitar down so you can hear, my friend.]
Assorted team members – management, marketing, sales, tech – arrived on Monday 10/1 to quickly organize our presentation before the networking Happy Hour reception started at 5PM. Activities included assembling the show booth and fly tent, & a quick Uber trip to Best Buy to purchase another Samsung flat screen.
We were surprised: our booth happened to be located directly on the path that led into the Happy Hour event. On their way to/from the reception room, lots of Expo attendees stopped to talk to us about the rapid deploy GPS-denied UAVs in the Digital Aerolus booth and fly space.
On Tuesday and again on Wednesday, we spoke with a stream of customers and clients attracted by the noise and lights the Aertos 120™ industrial inspection drone was making inside our indoor test flight tent. Engineer & pilot Chris Aguayo demonstrated the advanced capabilities of the Aertos™ drone, including its ability to survive collisions and to hover stably with the pilot’s hand off the controls.
Customers seemed most interested in these advanced features of the Aertos™:
* Flying indoors without GPS in a space dense with competing radio frequencies
* The drone’s rugged construction allowed it to survive collisions with a hand or an object
* We demonstrated hands-off stability and hovering in a confined space
* We launched from slanted and irregular surfaces
* The AT 120’s protected blades inside ducted fans allowed Chris to safely catch-terminate the flights
The team stayed constantly busy talking to potential clients and customers, industry contacts, partners, and new friends. Industry contacts introduced promising discussions into a variety of markets and use cases, including mining operations, power grids, airport and power plant inspections, as well as proposals to mount special-case cameras or other hardware on our platform.
The show close late Wednesday afternoon was chaotic – many exhibitors were competing for the same scarce resources like rolling carts and access to the FedEx station to arrange to ship equipment home. But overall, Commercial UAV Expo 2018 was a success. Thanks for reading!
Rod Underdown explains the advantages of FGC Flight code to a potential drone customer
CEO Jeff Alholm takes a short booth break to talk with Rod Underdown and Jameson Huckaba.
[Of course, checking the NFL Monday Night Football score of the Kansas City/Denver game was critical – we wanted to know how the undefeated Chiefs were doing! Some us eventually managed to watch part of the end of that game. Go Chiefs!]
We caught part of the Chiefs/Broncos game on the ginormous multi-screen Sports Bar at the Westgate,
Commercial UAV Expo is one of the largest drone conferences of its kind, targeting professionals in civil infrastructure, power and energy, construction, law enforcement/emergency response, mining, and many other markets and disciplines.
We’ve arranged an indoor fly space next to our booth where the Digital Aerolus team will demonstrate our drone technologies and the vehicles in the Aertos™ UAV family. Thanks to the proprietary mathematics of Folded Geometry (FGC™) flight code, Digital Aerolus drones fly predictably and stably in indoor spaces and in other challenging spaces where GPS signals are unreliable or unavailable.
Come by and see us at Booth #1508. Or, we’ll be posting updates and pics here on our Latest News blog page.
The new drone flies into confined spaces and through small cross-section pipes and tunnels to autonomously assist inspection teams. The Aertos 120t™ uses our industry leading FGC™ flight code to achieve unparalleled photogrammetry-grade image stability within confined spaces and in the absence of GPS. A suite of LIDAR sensors provide path measurements, while dual onboard cameras equip the drone to perform 360 degree visual inspections. We engineered this unit to fly autonomously, executing a pre-programmed flight path or navigating from station to station, or to fly under the control of a pilot with autonomous assistance.
GBA develops engineering, architectural, and construction management solutions for clients in infrastructure markets like transportation, water environment, and building design. The company has worked with Digital Aerolus in an advisory and testing capacity since 2017. This represents the first co-development partnership between the organizations.
Like all Aertos models, the design and technology of the Aertos 120t™ are extensions of the company’s flagship Aertos 120™ drone. The new Aertos 120t™ model deploys an onboard FPV camera for live video feeds and a hi-resolution camera mounted on a multidirectional gimbal for still images and video anywhere in a 360 degree field of view – including directly above or below the platform. The UAV also includes powerful illuminators, FGC™ flight code for remarkable maneuverability and stability where GPS positioning signals may be weak or absent, and multiple laser sensors that enable the drone to navigate predictably into confined spaces and provide measurement data.
DA continues to design leading-edge software and hardware for drones and other platforms. Our objective is to become a dominant supplier of technology and hardware innovations for drones, UASs, and a variety of autonomous vehicles. Our partnership with GBA and its deep experience with clients helped move this development quickly down that road.
In summer 2018, we moved to our new expanded facility in Lenexa, Kansas. New developments & exciting times are on the way. Stay tuned!
Digital Aerolus, Inc.
CEO Jeff Alholm
9910 Widmer Road
Lenexa, KS 66215
Digital Aerolus and GBA Announce Autonomous Aertos 120t™ Inspection Drone for Tunnels and Pipes
Lenexa, Kan. – September 5, 2018
Digital Aerolus, developers of drone software and hardware, today announced the Aertos 120t™, a drone specifically designed to meet the needs of infrastructure survey teams inspecting tunnels, pipes, and culverts.
“Industrial users are looking for rugged drones that can fly autonomously in challenging environments like pipes and tunnels,” said Digital Aerolus CEO Jeff Alholm. “We developed the 120t™ drone to help inspection teams save time and money. In challenging spaces like storm sewers and water pipes, an unmanned vehicle can quickly provide critical data while the pilot remains in a safe remote location. Our proprietary FGC™ flight control and multidirectional sensing technologies allow Aertos™ drones to deploy into these previously inaccessible and risky environments where GPS signals are absent and provide unobstructed photogrammetry-grade still and video images.”
Ben Lindner, UAS Group leader at GBA, said: “The Aertos 120t™ will be a game changer in the underground infrastructure inspection world. The ability to autonomously fly and collect data without putting personnel into those environments will save our clients time and resources. Most of the communities we serve are transitioning from a build mode to a maintenance mode as they mature. GBA is excited to work with Digital Aerolus. Partnerships like this create the innovative solutions that modern infrastructure must have to meet its maintenance challenges.”
The Aertos 120t™ features a rugged ducted design that provides stability and helps protect spinning blades as pilots navigate complex environments. Onboard imaging systems include an FPV video camera and a flexible hi-res gimbal-mounted still camera with a dimmable illuminator that facilitates flights into dark or low-light environments. Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) and a laser sensing system enables Aertos™ drones to fly stable, repeatable missions in narrow and confined spaces, over reflective surfaces, and in other challenging areas.
“By December 1, GBA inspection teams will be using the Aertos 120t™ in the field”, said Jim Frank, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “All Aertos™ drones are available directly from Digital Aerolus or through our reseller channels.”
About Digital Aerolus
Digital Aerolus, based in Lenexa, Kansas, develops products and technology for unmanned aerial systems, and manufactures the Aertos™ drones for industrial and first responder markets. The company’s proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) and Mind of Motion™ technology equips drones to fly stably in confined spaces and challenging environments, including inside structures and underground where GPS signals may be compromised or denied. Designed upon advanced mathematics used in space flight control systems, FGC™ and Mind of Motion™ can power a wide range of air vehicles (drone/UAV/UAS) as well as ground (UGV), water (UWV), and underwater (UUV) vehicles. Read more about Digital Aerolus at www.DigitalAerolus.com.
GBA provides innovative engineering and architectural solutions to clients throughout the U.S. Primary markets include transportation, water, environment, buildings, site development, and commissioning. GBA and its subsidiaries employ a staff of 250 headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, and with regional offices in Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Illinois. Members of GBA’s multi-disciplined staff work closely with clients to accomplish the firm’s core purpose – “creating remarkable solutions for a higher quality of life.” Read more about GBA at www.GBATeam.com.
Digital Aerolus is excited to attend InterDrone, the International Drone Conference and Exposition – September 5-7, 2018, in Las Vegas.
We’ll connect with professionals in the industry – pilots, service providers, UAS engineers, drone developers and manufacturers, and enterprise UAV end-users. InterDrone is the largest exclusively-commercial drone show.
The Digital Aerolus team will be manning our show booth alongside more than 160 drone manufacturers, sellers and solution providers. We’ll show off our drone technologies and all the vehicles in the Aertos™ family.
If you happen to be in Las Vegas at InterDrone, come by and see us. Or, stay tuned for updates on this Latest News page.
In case you missed InterDrone 2017, here’s some highlights…
Recently, the marketing team at Digital Aerolus formally announced the Aertos 121™ drone for public safety markets.
Like all Aertos model UAVs, the design and technology of the Aertos 121™ are extensions of the company’s flagship Aertos 120™ drone. The new Aertos model deploys an onboard flexible FPV camera with a powerful illuminator, and incorporates FGC™ flight code for remarkable maneuverability and stability in confined spaces where GPS positioning signals may be weak or absent. First response teams and emergency crews will find the rapid-deploy Aertos 121™ an invaluable tool that will help save time and lives in critical field situations when every second counts.
We continue to design leading-edge software and hardware for drones, and our objective is to become a dominant supplier of operating systems and hardware innovations for drones, UASs, and all kinds of intelligent autonomous vehicles – in the near future.
Drop by and see us sometime at our new expanded facility in Lenexa, Kansas.
AERTOS 121 PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Digital Aerolus, Inc.
CEO Jeff Alholm
9910 Widmer Road
Lenexa, KS 66215
Digital Aerolus Announces Aertos 121™ Drone for Public Safety Market
Lenexa, Kan. – August 10, 2018
Digital Aerolus, developer of drone software and hardware, today announced the Aertos™ 121, an inspection drone specifically designed to meet the needs of law enforcement, fire safety and defense professionals. The company began developing drones and flight control technology in 2016.
“Rugged drones that fly in GPS-denied environments can save the lives of first responders and the people they protect,” said CEO Jeff Alholm. He added: “When response teams react to emergency situations like hazardous spills, shooter scenarios or natural disasters, time is critical. FGC™ and Rapid On technologies mean that Aertos™ drones can quickly collect data over large areas, helping response teams assess danger so they can direct resources to the right places. These same features help our armed forces that face complex situations in the field. By navigating stably around structures, near obstacles, or into areas with compromised or no GPS signal, the Aertos™ 121 enhances the search capability of any emergency team.”
The Aertos 121™ features a rugged ducted design. The aerodynamic ducts provide stability and help protect spinning blades as pilots pilots navigate complex environments. An onboard FPV camera with switchable illuminator allows flights into dark or low-light environments, speeding up search and rescue operations. The Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) and obstacle sensors enable Aertos™ drones to fly stably and safely in confined spaces, over reflective surfaces, and in other challenging areas.
“You can purchase Aertos™ drones directly or through our new reseller channel,” said Jim Frank, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Our drones save lives and property. Because pilots can deploy them immediately, response teams can more quickly evaluate an emergency situation. Fast deployment is critical when every second matters.”
For more information, see the website at www.DigitalAerolus.com
About Digital Aerolus
Digital Aerolus, based in Lenexa, Kansas, develops software and hardware for unmanned aerial systems, and manufactures the Aertos™ drones for industrial and first responder markets. The company’s proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) equips drones to fly stably in confined spaces and challenging environments, including inside structures and underground where GPS signals may be compromised or denied. Designed upon advanced mathematics used in space flight control systems, FGC™ can adapt to power other UAV/UAS and drone platforms. Read more about Digital Aerolus at www.DigitalAerolus.com.
This week, Digital Aerolus completed the move into the new expanded office, development, and warehouse space in Lenexa. This move will make it far easier for the Company to accelerate its development of advanced software and hardware for advanced drones and UAVs.
We announced our move with the press release below.
This early photo shows the entry and showroom areas in the new facility. We’re planning an Open House promo sometime soon. You’re invited!! Stand by for more info!!
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Digital Aerolus, Inc.
CEO Jeff Alholm
9910 Widmer Road
Lenexa, KS USA 66215
Drone Developer Digital Aerolus Announces Move to New Facility
Lenexa, Kan. – August 07, 2018
Digital Aerolus, developer of drone software and hardware for use by industry and first responders, today announced the relocation of its operations and headquarters to a larger facility in Lenexa, Kansas. The new location offers expanded space to meet the growth requirements of the business.
“Growing a new technology business presents exciting challenges. This relocation will help Digital Aerolus meet the demands of our customers,” said CEO Jeff Alholm. He added, “The new space gives us more space and flexibility for research and development, and for extended indoor test flights. At the same time, this move provides us with tremendous flexibility to expand in the future.”
The Digital Aerolus team of approximately 25 people work in the Lenexa facility. The Company also employs a small workforce of technology and sales specialists across the United States.
About Digital Aerolus
Digital Aerolus, based in Lenexa, Kansas, develops software and hardware for unmanned aerial systems, and manufactures the Aertos™ drones for industrial, warehouse and first responder markets. The company’s proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) equips drones to fly stably in confined spaces and challenging environments, including inside structures and underground where GPS signals may be compromised or denied. Designed upon advanced mathematics used in space flight control systems, FGC™ can adapt to power other UAV/UAS platforms. Read more about Digital Aerolus at www.DigitalAerolus.com.
The Digital Aerolus team has almost completed its move from Shawnee to its new facility in Lenexa, Kansas!
Like most corporate moves, this transplant will require lots of time and effort – like maybe 2 months of planning and execution. We’re gaining an increase in office space, in development lab space, and in production line capacity. We’ll also have a considerably larger Fly Space area and a shared warehouse to explore – so be looking for a bunch of new drone demo videos.
Shortly after we started the move, some of the engineering team took a well-deserved break from developing OS software, testing propeller designs, and setting up new offices – and gathered in the new Showroom for some medium-warm pizza and a few Arnold Palmers. We toasted the new digs and the future of Digital Aerolus and intelligent drones. Righteous!
We’ll miss Shawnee, Kansas – – but it’s a good move up and forward. Three Cheers, & Onward!!
Digital Aerolus Announces New Aertos™ Industrial Drones For GPS-Challenged Environments
Shawnee, Kansas – June 18, 2018
Digital Aerolus, manufacturer of drones and software for industry, today announced new additions to its Aertos™ line of unmanned aerial vehicles. The company develops software and hardware technologies at its facilities near Kansas City.
The expanded product line includes the Aertos™ 300, an open-blade inspection drone, and the Aertos™ 121, a ducted fan reconnaissance drone optimized for public safety officers and first responders. Both models are extension designs of the company’s flagship Aertos™ 120 industrial inspection drone.
All Aertos™ models use the company’s Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) and advanced mathematics to fly stably and safely in challenging areas where positioning information from GPS satellites may be compromised or denied. Other technologies like innovative duct and propeller designs and obstacle sensing enable Aertos™ drones to collect image data in confined spaces and other demanding environments.
“Our drone technologies help bridge and structure inspectors keep highways safe,” said Digital Aerolus CEO Jeff Alholm. “We’re also helping public safety officers and first responder teams obtain critical field information from the safety of a remote location. We’re committed to developing effective and efficient flight and data collection systems for our client partners.” Target markets also include mining operations, power plant inspections, and warehouse inventory management.
With engineering roots in the Caltech Planetary Science Group, Digital Aerolus began developing flight code and drones in 2014. The company delivered its first products in the Aertos™ line in 2018.
Jim Frank, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, added: “We showcased our new products at the recent AUVSI Xponential show in Denver, and they attracted considerable attention. We’re planning more technology enhancements, and we expect to significantly expand our manufacturing and sales through 2018 and beyond.”
To learn more about Digital Aerolus and Aertos™ industrial drones, or to arrange an interview, contact Jim Frank at 800.894.3616, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.digitalaerolus.com.
About Digital Aerolus
Digital Aerolus, based in Shawnee, Kansas, develops software and hardware for unmanned aerial systems, and manufactures the Aertos™ drones for industrial markets. The company’s proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code (FGC™) equips drones to fly stably in challenging and previously inaccessible environments and confined spaces, including inside structures and underground where GPS signals are compromised or denied. Designed upon advanced mathematics used in space flight control systems, FGC™ can be adapted to power other UAV/UAS and drone platforms. Read more about Digital Aerolus at www.DigitalAerolus.com.
Some Digital Aerolus team members attended the AUVSI Xponential 2018 show in Denver. Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, and growing relationships and friendships were the order of the week.
Team members in front of the show booth
(L-R: Nash; Jim; Dennis; Rod)
At the AUVSI show, we saw an overwhelming response to our family of drones that fly in GPS-denied environments. We presented a new line of products tailored for the Public Safety and Warehousing market sectors – products that extend the design innovations of our flagship Aertos 120™ inspection drone.
For example, we announced an open-bladed design that incorporates the company’s FGC™ flight code software for stable flight in GPS-compromised areas. Open-blade designs may be a good choice for flying in areas where the risk of collision with obstacles is low, and this approach can allow for larger propellers and extended per-battery flight times.
Thanks to our customers and new friends for your continuing interest in Digital Aerolus. Exciting times are certainly ahead as the market and the array of applications for UAV technology grows. See you at the next trade show!
From the site: “AUVSI represents the views of the unmanned systems and robotics community to government officials, regulators, media and the public. On behalf of our membership we are committed to shaping global policy by advocating on behalf of the unmanned systems and robotics community, monitoring legislation and assessing the global impact of the industry to ensure that obstacles to advancing and fielding these technologies are removed. We represent the industry in congressional hearings, participate in coalitions and rulemaking committees, and collaborate with various trade associations and stakeholders to serve and achieve the interests of our industry.”