American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced that its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Program has entered into an agreement with The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) corporation, to perform research under a NJIT Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 91 Certificate of Authorization (COA). The COA enables research activities to take place both beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and up to an altitude of 1,500 feet above ground level.
“American Water is proud to partner with NJII/NJIT, enabling us to jointly perform unmanned aerial systems and payload research flying up to three miles from a UAS pilot at an altitude of 1,500 feet to capture wide area mapping at high resolutions,” said Christopher Kahn, director of UAS, American Water. “This significant research will enhance monitoring of source water and potential environmental threats to our critical infrastructure water supply.”
Additionally, American Water’s long-range mapping and inspection airframe, the Censys Technologies Sentaero, provides the ability to safely inspect facilities from miles away through high-resolution cameras, while staying in the air for over an hour.
“American Waters partnerships with NJII/NJIT & Censys Technologies is important for advancing the integration of UAS into the national airspace because it is an example of enterprise operation standardization across multiple applications,” said Trevor Perrott, CEO & co-founder, Censys Technologies. “Through American Water’s leadership, our country is another step closer to making safe BVLOS drone missions commonplace. The exciting part is the story doesn’t end here.”
American Water is also working closely with several government agencies and partner organizations to enable BVLOS UAS missions during temporary flight restrictions, which are commonly in place after natural disasters.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water employs more than 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people in 24 states.
The New Jersey Innovation Institute was founded in 2014 and helps turn ideas into workable solutions across four divisions: healthcare, entrepreneurship, defense and homeland security, and professional and corporate education. NJII combines the vast resources of NJIT, strong and far-reaching industry and government relationships, and proven methods for building industry centric ecosystems to help drive innovation and deliver solutions that make a direct impact on the economy and the health and welfare of its participants.
Censys Technologies Corporation builds remote sensing hardware and software solutions for UAS service providers, enterprise organizations and government entities.
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