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    HomeGuest ContributorSponsored PostLighthouse Avionics: Hilliard Company Seeks To Change How Drones Fly

    Lighthouse Avionics: Hilliard Company Seeks To Change How Drones Fly

    [Post is written by: Andrea Litchfield]

    The way first responders answer the call for help across the nation could be transformed with the latest aviation transportation technology research taking place in Hilliard.

    Lighthouse Avionics, based at Converge Technologies on Lyman Drive, has created an airspace tracking system that will allow drones to fly without a line of physical site of the pilot – a current federal requirement that requires drones be visible to operators or to a human in radio contact with an operator. 

    The tracking system is vital to the development of a First Responder Drone, a Hilliard City Lab project first announced in 2021. Hilliard police leaders believe the technology can ensure first responders will have the right equipment and personnel at emergency scenes as quickly as possible. 

    Hilliard police have been using drones since 2019, but they are deployed only after officers arrive at a scene. 

    The idea is that an autonomous drone would be deployed upon receipt of a 911 call and location information. Within minutes, it would reach any location to relay critical site information to a central command to deploy resources as quickly as possible. In addition, this drone could remain on site during the emergency to relay vital information as the situation evolves.

    Lighthouse Avionics’ modular airspace management system is capable of providing low-cost, long-range identification, tracking and communication capabilities for drones flying below 400 feet. 

    The company was recently awarded a $25,000 grant by the Hilliard Development Corporation (HDC) to install three virtual control towers for the project. The funding is one of the benefits of the City Lab initiative, in which the entire City of Hilliard becomes a one-of-a-kind technology testbed. 

    City resources are leveraged to help high-tech businesses create, test, launch and commercialize innovative solutions. In return, the goal is that Hilliard will benefit from the attraction, retention, and expansion of technology businesses, along with the creation of associated high-paying jobs. The result is a tech-friendly environment not found in other communities. 

    This particular partnership utilizes the City’s fiber-optic network and cellular network for communications, its buildings for radar placement, and camera network for airspace object identification. It will be the first-use case in the State of Ohio, and the City will work with the Ohio Department of Transportation to expand the technology across the state.

    City leaders are now seeking a “SMART” grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a framework enabling easy FAA certification that can be adopted by other municipalities. According to a recent study, Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is expected to create more than 280,000 high-paying jobs by 2035. This project accelerates those jobs in municipalities across the nation. 

    Learn more (and connect your company) at https://hilliardohio.gov/city-lab/

     

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