As of today, the new certificates of knowledge for drone pilots can be filed on the website of the Federal Aviation Office. For the "small" A1 and A3 certificates, the exam can be taken online after completing the online course. All German Copters pilots that previously held the "old" German proof of knowledge have already successfully passed the test for the new "EU drone driving license" on the first day. When the courses and exams become available for the A2 pilot certification, the German Copters pilots plan to successfully complete these as well.
It was a difficult year, but a highly successful one for us. Despite the restrictions caused by Coronavirus, we have not only tripled sales in the medical logistics sector, we have also changed the structures in the company, so that German Copters can be managed 100% digitally. With Uplink GmbH and RKH Clinics, we were not only able to win new customers, but we were able to further strengthen our existing customer relationships and achieve relevant increases in sales with our existing customers.
The year 2021 will be a milestone for German Copters. In the last two years, we have worked intensively on the conception and technical solutions for setting up a regular drone flight operation for the transportation of medical materials. We are confident that we will operate the first long-haul flights before summer 2021.
We wish all employees, customers, partners and their families a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and also a Happy New Year 2021.
UPLINK Network GmbH, founded in 2013, has established itself as the market leader in recent years as part of the deregulation of the market for FM transmitter network operations. With the operation of 750 VHF frequencies today, most of which are held with their own frequency allocation, the company is helping to shape an exciting industry and taking care of the who-is-who of private and public radio broadcasters. German Copters will survey radio masts for Uplink and provide 3D data for analysing the antenna systems and maintenance preparation.
When will medical drones fly? - asks the Ludwigsburg newspaper. We are currently working intensively on the practical implementation. Over 30 authorities, institutions, and associations are currently involved in the preparations. In addition to the technical coordination with the various air traffic participants, we also have to take into consideration the environmental protection, safety concepts, and the establishment of communication chains.
The Pfortzheimer Zeitung reports on the German Copters project and particularly emphasizes the importance it has on combating the coronavirus.
For a few months, German Copters has been working with the RKH clinics in Baden-Württemberg on a project to optimize the transport of laboratory samples and urgently needed medical supplies. The first calculations have shown that transport times can be reduced by up to 75% when transporting laboratory samples. The Ludwigsburger Zeitung reported on the project.
Flights with a drone out of sight (BVLOS) only make sense if the drone is equipped with FLARM and ADS-B and is visible to other aircraft. That is why German Copters relies on a HoD (HookOnDevice) from Droniq, which not only makes the drone visible to other air traffic participants using FLARM and ADSB, but also enables software-supported active collision avoidance. This basic requirement allows for safer drone flights out of sight (BVLOS)
German Copters have been working on the development of new methods for inspecting radio masts for over a year. The main focus here is to increase efficiency from data acquisition to analysis. With the use of semi-professional drones it has made it possible to significantly reduce these costs. In cooperation with one of the world's largest system providers for complex radio transmitter infrastructure, an analysis system based on 360-degree video was developed, which is easy to implement in daily practice. The Europe-wide introduction of the analysis system is currently in preparation.
Currently, we are noticing that innovative start-ups cannot work according to standardized business plans. It is not just the imponderables in the technical development process that are difficult to calculate. The greatest risks arise from unclear or non-existent legal regulations, blanket bans, unclear responsibilities in the authorities or an exhausting legislative process. Our hard-earned technological lead simply cannot be capitalized as a result. Other countries, such as Canada, China, New Zealand and the USA, are increasingly leaving us Germans behind when it comes to launching innovative products and services. According to our research, innovations that are comparable to ours can be brought to market in China within 2 to 3 months. In Germany, the comparable process unfortunately takes an average of 1.5 to 2 years. The quality seal "Made in Germany" is increasingly fading, as we in Germany find it increasingly difficult to be "made". For these reasons, we welcome the statements by Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, who calls for more freedom for innovative companies. According to his statements in dub-magazin.de, innovations must not fail due to legal regulations. But that is only one component for a faster market launch of innovative products. We also demand more courage and willingness to communicate from the authorities - at least in Saxony. This could lead to greater mutual understanding and accelerate the difficult administrative processes.
The coronavirus pandemic calls for new innovative ideas and concepts. The RKH clinics are working together with German Copters to optimize ground-based and drone-based logistics for faster medical processes and a greater safety for patients and employees.
A SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment) is a risk analysis used for unmanned flight systems (civil drones). SORA is a development of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems, or JARUS. SORA is used as a multi-stage process for the risk assessment and is intended to improve safety while using drones. Risk management is used to identify and contain dangers to people on the ground, air traffic, and critical infrastructure. German Copters has been developing SORAs for various projects in collaboration with Droniq for over a year. A SORA created by German Copters includes, not only the risk analysis, but also a detailed ConOps (Concept of Operations) as the basis of the guidelines that were drawn up for an official approval process.
German Copters was invited to the meeting of the Saxon Harbor and Transport Association (www.shv-oberelbe.de). CEO René Micknaß and CMO Holger Schulze presented and discussed solutions based on drones in logistics. German Copters says thank you very much for the invitation, and it was an exciting event with many interesting discussions.
High-resolution photography,so-called "gigapixel photography", is not only used in marketing campaigns. This technology is also used in the construction planning and analysis of properties. CMO Holger Schulze is one of the pioneers of this technology. In 2013, he produced the largest image in the world, which contained over 320 gigapixels (confirmed Guinness World Record) in London. High-resolution photos are also created for customers in Germany. The city of Dresden has almost a 1 gigapixel photo of its surroundings.
For almost a year we have been preparing technically and organizationally for the transportation of urgently needed medical materials, tissue samples, and blood samples. We also have been discussing the approval of these drone flights with the local authorities since mid-March. The documents for this application process are more than 150 pages long. During the approval process the authorities wanted to witness a drop test. This test is intended to show that the transport box, we use, is also suitable for the transportation of hazardous biological materials. The drop test should be carried out according to the existing specifications from a height of 5 to 10 meters. This is not practical since the drone can have a flight altitude of over 100 meters at any given time. Since the box cannot detach itself from the drone due to the multiple safeguards installed, we removed those safeguards to perform the tests. We decided to drop the box from a height of 60 meters and 100 meters. The results from both tests concluded that there was no damage to the packaging or the goods inside the box.
We presented the drones we use and our new ground station to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The occasion was the presentation of the federal government's new action plan: "Unmanned Aviation Systems and Innovative Aviation Concepts" by Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer. Something is moving in Germany and we are at the forefront.