FLIR Salvages Tethered Drone Tech from Aria Insights

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CyPhy Works burned through nearly $40m in funding before relaunching as Aria Insights at the start of 2019. The relaunch was an attempt to shift away from hardware and toward the management of aerial data.

Then, in March, Aria Insights closed down in a move that was symbolic of consolidation in the industry.

Thermal imaging specialist FLIR has announced that it will be picking up some of the pieces. FLIR has done a deal with UAS Pioneer to purchase intellectual property, patents and other operating assets of Aria Insights.

The exact terms haven’t been disclosed, but FLIR has confirmed that the focus of the purchase is CyPhy Works’ tethered drone technology.

Which makes sense. FLIR’s interest in the drone space revolves around technology that can support first responders, the military and industrial inspections. All three use cases can sometimes require a level of persistence that only a tethered system can provide.

Typically, tethered drones connect to a base station using a microfilament wire that provides continuous power and secure communications. The technology enables sustained operations on longer missions and persistent situational awareness.

FLIR Picks Up Aria’s Tethered Tech

Aria’s tethered assets will be integrated into FLIR’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions Division. The company has made significant moves in the drone space to date. FLIR Acquired Aeryon earlier this year, and has also invested in drone service provider DroneBase, Prox Dynamics and Endeavor Robotics.

“Tethered UAS systems are becoming an increasingly valuable tool for force protection, border security, and critical infrastructure protection,” said David Ray, president of FLIR’s Government and Defense business.

“Aria’s innovative technology and IP assets will enable us to enhance current capabilities and advance the range of solutions we can deliver to customers in this growing market segment.”

“We’re pleased to complete the sale of our assets to FLIR Systems,” said Lance Vandenbrook, former CEO of Aria Insights. “We are proud of the technology our team developed through the operations of CyPhy Works and Aria, and we believe FLIR offers the best opportunity to see it make a difference and support critical missions in the years ahead.”


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