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American Aerospace Completes First ever Drone-Based Hurricane Response Exercise
by Staff Writers
Cape May NJ (SPX) Oct 19, 2016

File image.

American Aerospace Technologies (AATI), the pioneer in long range drones for civilian applications has announced that it successfully tested drone-based wireless communications and real-time mapping for improved hurricane response.

In another first for AATI, the company successfully flew its RS-20 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to test delivery of critical services to first responders during a hurricane response exercise. Tests included the first-ever trial aimed at providing airborne wireless connectivity for first responders in a post-disaster communications-denied environment.

Additional tests delivered high resolution map-based imagery of coastlines and infrastructure to the web in real-time using AATI's InstiMaps System. The flight tests were conducted October 5-7 in Cape May County, New Jersey, under a certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) covering over 100 square miles with a ceiling of 7,500 feet issued by the FAA to the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This is the eighth COA under which AATI has successfully flown across the country.

AATI is no stranger to Cape May Airport (KWWD) as it has conducted four successful flight operations here including the first UAS flight from a public airport in the state of New Jersey.

A tabletop exercise was conducted prior to the flights that included representatives from multiple government and education institutions including the NJ National Guard, US Coast Guard, NJ State Police, Cape May County Office of Emergency Management, FAA Technical Center, NJ Department of Transportation, NJIT and Rutgers, among others.

According to David Yoel, CEO of AATI, "These were the first flight tests in the U.S. to use long range drones to provide wireless communications and real-time mapping to first responders in a hurricane response application."

In May 2016, AATI and Verizon Wireless successfully tested airborne cellular network connectivity using both long range drones and manned aircraft over hundreds of miles of pipelines and power lines in Central Virginia.

The tests conducted this week extended the test activities to include disaster response. David Yoel, CEO of AATI, said, "Long range drones promise to significantly improve the safety and integrity of our nations' infrastructure, and to dramatically improve our ability to respond to natural disasters."

Vinod Khosla, CEO of Khosla Ventures, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm and investor in AATI, said, "Airborne cellular communications are a key enabler for long range drones, helping turn the promise of this disruptive technology into a practical reality."

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