Drone technology in focus

While a Nevada company hopes to eventually have a high profile in the drone industry, it is taking one piece of its technology to market already on manned flights.

“We believe the technology and sensors are ready for prime time today,” said James Fleitz, vice president of Las Vegas-based ArrowData, an aerial data services business that specializes in remote sensing, data collection, transmission, analytics and distribution services.

ArrowData executives recently held a demonstration in Reno to highlight the company’s full motion video capabilities sent live from a Cessna aircraft.

Since commercial drone use is not yet allowed, ArrowData is using the same technology that drones will use in the future and putting it on planes to collect data until they can start operating drones legally.

“We have six targeted business lines,” said Fleitz. They include customers in public safety, utilities, mining, defense contractors and entertainment providers, he said.

Imagine a day a fire chief can assess the fire he’s going to, Fleitz said. And save lives and mitigate risks before his crews arrive on the scene.

Search and rescue is another target as well, he said. Also, the data sensors can pick up on choke points in the region to monitor traffic.

While the list of uses seems countless, commercial use for drones — a product line ArrowData has under development — is still limited until the Federal Aviation Administration can create rules allowing their legal use for business purposes.

“ArrowData provides decision makers with real-time perspective that enables them to save time, money, increase productivity and potentially save lives,” said Fleitz. He said the name “aero” was already in use, so the company used arrow to denote flying.

In the meantime, the company, which is pre-revenue, plans to staff up in the Reno area as it rolls out its product line. Job openings will be filled for pilots, sensor operators and business development specialists.

“We have aggressive timelines and we’re confident we can meet them,” said Fleitz.

The company is a subsidiary of the Bowhead family of companies, Fleitz added. According to its website, Bowhead is an Alaska Native Corporation owned by the Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation of Barrow, Alaska.


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