Latvian company introduces black box for its drones

A Latvian drone company may have made the first black box for a drone.

Starting this month, FIXAR – whose drones are designed for various enterprise applications – says it will equip all its outdoor drones with the FIXAR BlackBox system for UAV flight data logging, which will allow for increased traceability and accountability of the aircraft, contributing to safer air traffic.

What we do not know, though, is whether the back box is an indestructible as its counterparts designed for larger planes.

Short for Fixed Angle Rotors, FIXAR is a Latvian software and design developer, powering commercial autonomous UAVs for industrial applications.

Founded in 2018 by aerospace engineer Vasily Lukashov, the company makes the FIXAR 007 a fully autonomous, fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications, such as mapping and inspections, aerial imaging, precision agriculture, oil and gas, surveillance and monitoring, and even small parcel delivery.

FIXAR say their drone is easy requires low-maintenance, is easy to use and can be set up in less than five minutes.

“The VTOL drone can be equipped with a variety of sensors and can accommodate multiple payloads at once to accomplish your mission objectives in fewer flights,” the company says. “FIXAR 007 features a convenient and flexible design of the payload compartment, which allows for integration with any third-party sensors such as RGB or multispectral cameras, hyperspectral sensors, LiDAR scanners, night vision cameras, and more.

“The FIXAR 007 model features a high payload capacity of 2 kg (4.4 lbs), which allows for the installation of various sensors, so you can capture more data in fewer flights. The payload capacity is such that it even allows for a combination of RGB and multispectral camera use, which guarantees results with greater accuracy, precision, and cost-efficiency, all at a much finer resolution over increasingly large spatial scales, particularly when compared to other means of monitoring, such as foot surveys or manned aircrafts.”

The company also makes the FIXAR Indoor – a multi-rotor professional drone designed for inspection, monitoring, and mapping of indoor areas and confined spaces such as mines, cellars, warehouses, and abandoned buildings. It’s a compact quadcopter, designed to be both durable and smart, with the ability to mitigate collisions thanks to LiDARs and real-time video transmission.

However, it is only the outdoor drone which will be fixed with the FIXAR BlackBox, which the company explains as an extended feature that allows the system to record complete and detailed information of onboard flight activities and parameters.

“It is an advanced logging system capable of recording and storing information of settings, missions, sensor’s data, user commands, automatic control and payload information,” FIXAR said in a statement.

“The FIXAR BlackBox consists of a lightweight separate module that records all flight data into technical logs and LogExport software to process these logs for user purposes. This feature allows the geotagging to be available to operators at any time, even if the drone is powered off. The drone user or any other party is not able to interfere or modify the logged data, and data extraction from the device is performed wireless for an effortless process.”

In addition, FIXAR revealed that the main reason why they were installing their drones with the BlackBox was to improve on its drones’ safety infrastructure, as the box would provide detailed data for mission analysis, identify faults in case of the incidents and contribute to a more efficient monitoring and problem-solving and overall UAV industry security and development.

“The number of unmanned aircrafts filling the sky is increasing and alarming the necessity for safe and reliable solutions to trace and keep the vehicles accountable,” says founder and CEO Lukashov. “The BlackBox is the answer – data logs of the device serve as a main source of expertise in the event of an incident and allows storing and analyzing the statistics of flight and fault tolerance often requested by the regulators,”

The BlackBox will also serve as a back-up system for data collected by the payload and can be exported using LogExport software with no data loss. 

FIXAR company has offices in over twenty countries around the globe, including in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, and serves more than forty end-customers through its network of distribution partners. 

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