Automated drone solutions have significant value in applications from surveillance to inspections of aircraft, buildings, and infrastructure. Drones on military bases have the same value – and drone startup Easy Aerial is competing to bring their tethered drone technology to the Air Force Base of the Future.
AFWERX, the catalyst for fostering innovation within the U.S. Air Force, announced Easy Aerial as one of the top 92 participating teams selected from across the globe competing to build the Base of the Future Challenge.
“The AFWERX Challenge is centered around six topics – Base Security, Installation Resilience, Leveraging Technology for Operational Effectiveness, Reverse Engineering, Culture of Innovation, and Airman and Family Wellbeing,” says an Easy Aerial press release. Easy Aerial is competing in the Leveraging Technology for Operational Effectiveness Challenge – a challenge to leverage artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and machine learning to build an Air Force base “that becomes a leader in innovation.”
The Base of the Future theme was inspired by Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, which was destroyed in 2018 by Hurricane Michael. Congress has approved a $3 billion military construction rebuild program: the Base of the Future Challenge is based on the hope that Tyndall will be rebuilt as a model of innovation for military services around the world.
Easy Aerial provides drone-based monitoring and inspection solutions designed and built in the U.S. Easy Aerial solutions “are fully autonomous, all-weather capable, portable, rugged, and specifically designed for military applications,” says the announcement. Among Easy Aerial’s applications is an autonomous solution for rapid maintenance inspection of large aircraft. “The system features a tethered drone attached to a self-directing base station that moves around an aircraft capturing and securely storing high-resolution images and video from multiple angles. The system dramatically reduces the time needed for current routine and emergency maintenance inspections in large hangars with scaffolding erected around the aircraft.”
“We are honored to be the only participant selected to compete in three of the six Air Force base of the future challenges,” said Ido Gur, Co-Founder, and CEO of Easy Aerial. “As we move into the next phase of the challenge, we look forward to further demonstrating the capabilities and advantages of our autonomous rapid maintenance inspection system of large aircraft.”
“The AFWERX Base of the Future Challenge is critical to our mission of increasing collaboration between large businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate solutions for the Air Force,” stated Mark Rowland of AFWERX. “On behalf of AFWERX and the Department of Defense, we congratulate the teams advancing to the next phase. Their contributions are invaluable and have the potential to create game-changing results across the Air Force enterprise.”