A Swiss drone company is joining forces with the European Space Agency’s initiative to rocket high-tech startups into successful orbits around the business world.
Drone Harmony of Luzern, Switzerland has joined the ESA Business Incubator Switzerland, allowing the start-up to upgrade its UAS missions-planning platforms using satellite data.
Created three years ago, BIC-Switzerland is a partnership between the ESA and ETH University in Zurich. The program allows entrepreneurs access to aerospace technology that can be leveraged towards new tech research for both space and non-space related businesses.
Martin Fuchsberger, CEO of Drone Harmony said:
“We see our acceptance to the ESA BIC CH as confirmation of our vision of creating fully autonomous drone-based inspection workflows. We are excited about the opportunity that this incubation holds for both our company and our technology. The importance of satellite data for automation of drone operations is unquestioned, and now we have the opportunity to pursue the integration of such data sources with expert advice and support from leading organizations in the space industry.”
The company will be able to use satellite data to enable autonomous drone mission planning and flight including high-resolution imagery and digital elevation models (described as “surface models that represent the heights of points in space and are necessary for high accuracy mapping”).
Using such high-quality sources will provide autonomous drone missions with improved data over regions where maps may be outdated or that may include complex or rugged terrain.
“Drone Harmony is developing the tools to turn drones from merely eyes in the sky to effective automated data collection tools that drive the modern digital workflows and enable their full-scale deployment.”
Company sources say Drone Harmony platforms have already logged more than 50,000 autonomous flights over six continents.
Last year, the company developed Cell Tower Scan, an Android app that uses the company’s UAV planning framework to complete cell-tower inspections in 5-10 minutes using quadcopters.
Drone Harmony works with several industry partners on drone workflow automation for various industrial use cases, including Bentley System’s Reality Modelling team, SiteSee (AUS), The iGlobe Group (RSA), VertSpec (USA) and EasyInspect (Denmark), as well as dozens of customers and resellers around the world.