Operation Last-Mile: Critical Drone Delivery Testing Report

spent briefing the flight teams on how the pre-programmed flights work, how to pause them, and when it is appropriate to pause them.

Manual Flights

Pilots expressed a preference for manual flights. Part of that comes from resistance to the “black box” effect where pilots don’t know what the software is doing and don’t trust it. Part of it is an ego thing where their skill is only on display if they are flying. Here are some observations and lessons learned about manual flights ● Speed: ​ Pilot flew to the target .5 mph faster than pre-programmed flights and 2.7 mph faster on the return trips. This did not cause any issues but if the payload were heavier or the wind was stronger, speeding may have become a factor. It was recommended that we set speed limits on manual flights. ● Finding the targets: ​ with only the benefit of a map, the pilots sometimes found it difficult to find the target. Sometimes they were familiar with the map but were confused about which target was actually the right target. For Test 3B, DroneSense software was used to assist the pilots in finding the right target. The targets were dropped on their controller map as waypoints and they simply had to fly to the waypoint. This seemed to be the perfect combination for the pilots as they were able to fly manually but see their target and the path they had been taking right on their flight controller screen. This can be done with DJI Go flight controller software too, but the added benefit of DroneSense is a central dashboard to monitor multiple flights. ● DroneSense Dashboard: ​ In Test 3B, multiple teams flew to multiple targets at the same time. The Airboss manually directed takeoff, landing, altitude going out, and altitude coming back. With the DroneSense dashboard, he was able to monitor the locations of the drones on the map and all (3) flight cameras on one screen. This gave him ideal situational awareness. The following image is a picture of the DroneSense dashboard.

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