Operation Last-Mile: Critical Drone Delivery Testing Report

● Batteries: ○ The Inspire 2 requires 2 batteries to fly and they are set up in pairs that are designed to stay together as pairs for their life cycle. ○ We may want to issue battery hot-swap instructions to the pilots so they do not have to go through a power-down/power-up cycle between battery changes. That could speed up turnaround time when battery changes are required. ○ We noted that a few of the batteries heated up beyond ideal operating temperature (104°F). The batteries will flash specific patterns on the LED charge indicators when there is a high-temperature problem. ○ Charge time on the Inspire 2 batteries is 90 minutes per pair and two batteries can be charged at a time with the charger that comes with the aircraft. ○ Charge time on the remote controller is 3 hours and it can be used for 4 hours after being fully charged. ○ At lower than 59°F, the Inspire 2 batteries will warm themselves up to 68°F before they can be used in flight. It stayed warmer than 59° for this operation but had it been colder, the batteries would have ideally been kept at 68° or warmer. ● Goggles: ​ Test First Person View Goggles since we have a VO on both ends of the flight (LoadMaster on the launch end and VO on the target end). ● Screens: ​ Issue screen hoods for the iPads or provide Crystal Sky controllers to allow better visibility of the flight controls in sunny conditions. ● Spectrum Analyzer: ​ Operate and monitor a radio spectrum analyzer before and during operations to ensure that any radio signal conflicts are identified and mitigated to avoid loss of control to aircraft. At the drop zone 3-2, the target was directly behind 100 feet of a concrete block building in relation to the takeoff zone. When the drone dropped below 20 feet, teams experienced some controller signal drop-out. This did not cause any drop attempts to be aborted, but it did account for extra time on target. A few times the ​ DroneUp ​ Blue team noticed controller signal glitches when the adjacent Workhorse flight team began operating. A spectrum analyzer could help diagnose situations like this and avoid potential problems. ● Multiple Drones ​ : The Inspire 2 operates at either the 2.4 GHz or 5.8GHz bandwidth ranges. One pilot pointed out that DJI recommends limiting the number of their drones operating within the size of a soccer field to 3 at the same time to prevent radio interference. We had very few controller signal problems but we did notice some 1-2 second drop-outs of video signal when more than 3 drones were operating at the same time in the same general area. ● Stripes: ​ The colored stripes on the drones were not discernible unless the drones were close. This did not cause any problems but the stripes helped only when the drones were on the ground, not when they were in the air.

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