Wingcopter invests in Intermap’s terrain data software
Denver, USA – With research into urban air mobility and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights gathering pace in Europe and the USA – the biggest commercial drone markets in the world – delivery drone maker Wingcopter has decided to be ready and on standby for when the skies finally open by investing in NEXTView, a high-resolution 3D terrain dataset technology that gives high quality digital surface models to pilots.
Developed by American geospatial intelligence solutions provider Intermap, in conjunction with Lufthansa Systems, the Lido Surface Data NEXTView is the world’s first high-resolution geospatial digital elevation model (DEM), specifically designed to meet the needs of the aviation industry.
According to the developers, multiple data sources are used to combine the benefits of the different terrain data acquisition methods. Due to this, NEXTView’s 3D database reveals an unprecedented detail of surface features, which include islands, airport infrastructure and buildings, which are relevant for aviation systems, such as terrain collision avoidance systems.
“Intermap has entered into a subscription-based strategic agreement with Wingcopter, a manufacturer of aviation-grade drone technology and a service provider for a wide range of drone deployments,” said Intermap in a statement. “These deployments include delivery of medical goods, parcels, food or spare parts, as well as mapping/surveying and inspection/monitoring. This agreement is indicative of the increased demand for NEXTView as the drone market has accelerated over the past twelve months, with increased global demand for and utility of unmanned aircraft in logistics, supply chain and delivery operations.”
The geospatial data technology received Type 1 Certification last year from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which allows NEXTView to be used in commercial avionics and provides deployment-tested quality assurance to the UAV and UTM industries.
EASA and the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) in the USA are currently involved in a number of projects with drone industry players in their respective regions, with a view to find ways in which unmanned aerial vehicles can be integrated safely into the busy air spaces of American and European cities. In its final rules, which were released at the beginning of this year, the FAA approved initial limited address-specific package drone deliveries and continue to build the regulatory and technology infrastructure to support drones through the BEYOND program.
And, according to Intermap, it will take high quality, tried and tested geospatial data, such as provided by NextView, for these efforts to succeed.
“Wingcopter provides worldwide drone solutions for commercial and humanitarian applications that improve and save lives,” said Patrick A. Blott, Intermap’s Chairman and CEO. “They will be a major player, active around the world, deploying drone systems for medical and commercial package delivery.
“Intermap is excited to support this partner and advance both companies’ first-mover position in this fast-growing global UAS market. This deal represents a rare opportunity to help build an emerging industry with extraordinary revenue potential and the ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives by applying our unique geospatial intelligence technology.”