❖ Does the platform operate on iOS and Android? When will Android be available?
DroneSense is currently iOS-only. We are currently developing Android support and plan to have it available for customers by the end of 2018.
❖ Does your platform support CrystalSky?
The Pilot app is not yet available for the CrystalSky. DroneSense is working to overcome the CrystalSky’s performance and architectural challenges and anticipate support for the CrystalSky in an upcomingrelease.
❖ Is there a mobile version of the app? Can I use the app on my iPhone or Android phone?
The Pilot app is iPad only, with Android support coming soon. We do not currently support a version for phone devices but are working on a version of OpsCenter and AirBase that will work on phones.
❖ How secure is Amazon GovCloud hosting?
Security is a key concern with the DroneSense platform, which is why we chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud for our cloud hosting infrastructure. AWS GovCloud is compliant with FedRAMP, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) and the DoD Security Requirements Guide (SRG).
You can find details about AWS GovCloud here: https://aws.amazon.com/govcloud-us/faqs/
❖ How secure is the video stream? Provide details.
Video is streamed through the secure DroneSense servers that are hosted in Amazon Web Service GovCloud. The stream itself is transmitted using encrypted protocols and access to the stream requires authenticated credentials.
❖ What is the latency of the video through the cloud?
Total video latency for remote streaming viewers is usually less than one second. However, slow internet speeds and performance-limited network devices can increase video latency to remote viewers to several seconds or more.
❖ What are the minimum system requirements for optimal performance?
For hardware, we recommend the 2nd generation iPad Pro or the 2018 model iPad or later. The iPad Mini 4 (released September 2015) and 2017 iPad models will work but can create performance limitations for graphics-heavy operations, such as flying multi-camera aircraft and large autonomous survey flight planning operations. Older iPad models also can experience issues with overheating due to limitations of the graphics processor.
For software, we recommend Chrome or Firefox for AirBase and OpsCenter. Safari does not currently support OpsCenter video streaming. Windows users should be on Windows 10. Mac users should be on Mac OS 10.4 or later. For iPad, we recommend iOS 11.3 or later.
In general, we recommend that users delay installing major updates to operating systems – especially on iOS – unless you have a compelling requirement. This delay will give DroneSense the opportunity to install and test updates to ensure there are no conflicts introduced by changes made in the update.
❖ Am I responsible for buying any additional hardware or data plans for the platform to work? What specific devices are recommended on the hardware side to maximize performance?
No additional hardware beyond the drone and tablet is required to run the DroneSense platform. Organizations will be responsible for establishing their own wireless data plans. Several organizations also use mobile hotspot devices for convenient network access, and those optional devices are each organization’s responsibility.
As with any networked solution, organizations will need to be mindful of data speeds in their area. In addition, some data providers might throttle video or other data over a certain threshold. Depending on data coverage, organizations might consider setting up plans with multiple data providers to help mitigate coverage shortcomings in their area. First responder organizations should also work with their data providers to ensure the best available data prioritization on their plans.
For hardware, we recommend the 2nd generation iPad Pro or the 2018 model iPad or later. The iPad Mini 4 (released September 2015) and 2017 iPad models are on the lower end of functionality, and can overheat due to limitations of the hardware.
❖ What happens if the network quality/speed in my area isn’t always reliable or fast?
Network limitations are always a factor in video streaming.
Regardless of network connectivity, operators will always be able to conduct their missions offline. While video streaming via OpsCenter Cloud won’t work when offline, all telemetry and flight media is stored on the drone. Upon return to a network connection, all data is synced to the DroneSense Cloud.
DroneSense also offers the OpsCenter Anywhere hardware platform, which provides organizations the ability to stand up a mobile network in internet-denied areas. Contact DroneSense for more details about this option.
❖ What external factors could negatively affect video quality or other app performance?
Areas with high electronic interference will likely encounter some issues with network connectivity.
For LTE connections, events with high network traffic (such as festivals, concerts, sporting events, or other occasions where a lot of people are using their mobile phones) have the potential for interfering with connectivity. We recommend that organizations work with their data providers to help ensure that first responder users have highest priority on the network.
❖ What specific airframes in the DJI family are currently supported? What sensors are supported? Does it work with thermal cameras?
We currently support the following DJI airframes:
– Inspire 1 V2.0 – Mavic Pro & Mavic Platinum Pro – Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom – Mavic Air – Matrice 200, Matrice 210, & Matrice 210 RTK – Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Advanced, Phantom 4 Pro, and Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 – Phantom 3
We currently support the following sensors:
– X3 – X4S – X5, X5R, X5S – X7 – XT and XT2 thermal cameras – Z3 – Z30
❖ Does DroneSense support dual controllers?
Yes, basic dual controller use is supported.
❖ How can I make sure sensitive media is not available in the cloud?
DroneSense does not automatically upload any collected media (pictures or videos) into the cloud, rather all media is stored on the drone’s SD card. Each organization has full discretion of what media gets uploaded, and what stays on local storage at all times. Additionally, any uploaded media in AirBase must have a retention policy attached to it, and these items will be stored in accordance with those policies set up by the organization. AirBase enables the association of retention policies to all uploaded media.
❖ When will there be support for non-DJI drones?
The platform is built to be drone-agnostic, so long as the flight controller of the drone has an available SDK or API. Currently, the overwhelming majority of public safety users are utilizing DJI drones. When there is sufficient demand for additional non-DJI brands that support the needs of public safety, DroneSense will consider supporting those on the platform as well.
Additionally, users can manually enter and track data around any non-supported drone directly in AirBase today. This is a way to at least have an organization’s entire fleet appear in a singular location.
❖ How many drone videos can you consume in OpsCenter Anywhere without degradation?
DroneSense has tested OpsCenter Anywhere with as many as six simultaneous video streams without performance degradation.
❖ How far away can the drone pilots be to connect up to OpsCenter Anywhere via WiFi?
OpsCenter Anywhere deployments using the tablet’s internal WiFi antenna will limit connection ranges to typical WiFi ranges in cluttered environments of approximately 75 feet. A variety of range extenders, more powerful WiFi routers or other technologies can be leveraged to optimize range for specific employment environments.
❖ Can you resume flights in an autonomous mission if you swap batteries mid-flight?
Yes. You can start a long autonomous flight, and RTH (Return to Home) to swap batteries. Then if you start the same autonomous flight again, you may choose where to resume the flight from.
❖ What are some scenarios where I may need OpsCenter Anywhere?
OpsCenter Anywhere is intended for environments where internet connectivity is limited, such as areas with poor cell tower coverage, or in areas where network congestion is high and/or is temporarily unavailable due to current circumstances on the ground.
❖ Is OpsCenter Anywhere required for the platform to function? When would I want to consider purchasing OpsCenter Anywhere?
OpsCenter Anywhere is an optional additional purchase, and is not required for the DroneSense Platform to work. Organizations that cover areas with poor cell coverage or other limitations on their region’s network coverage should consider OpsCenter Anywhere if they intend to stream video or need pilots to collaborate on scene–without the requirement of a broader internet connection. If the organization already has an on-scene network solution, such as a WiFi-enabled command vehicle or high quality hotspots, OpsCenter Anywhere is not required, but can be used to augment these capabilities.
❖ Can I sign up for a trial? For how long?
Yes, free trials are available for a period of 30 days. We’ll send you a form to fill out with required information needed to set up your trial account. During your trial, your DroneSense representative will work with you to regularly collect feedback, assist with any questions or issues that arise, and address any other follow-up to help get the most out of your experience.
❖ If I buy the software, will I get training?
Yes, there will be one-time online training included for all deployments at the outset. For an additional fee, and subject to availability, on-site training can be arranged as well. Support following the training is as outlined in the Platform Terms and Conditions.
❖ Do I have to pay for updates and maintenance?
The majority of regular updates will be free of charge and made available online. Certain more significant (optional) features in the future may be subject to an additional charge (e.g., augmented reality, post-flight 3D image processing). Maintenance is included in the per-drone pricing and is not extra for cloud deployments.
❖ Can I create 3D maps on your platform? How do you work with Pix4D?
You can use the platform to collect the images required to stitch together a 3D map in Pix4D or other mapping software. While DroneSense currently does not have its own native mapping solution like this, it could be an offering the company develops down the line (for an additional charge).
❖ What are viewer packs, and how do they work?
Viewer packs enable users, permissioned by the organization, to simultaneously view drone video streams through OpsCenter Cloud. Included with purchases of any number of drone licenses is a 3-stream viewer pack per organization. This allows organizations to consume a maximum of 3 video streams, through the cloud, at the same time.
To illustrate further via examples, with the included 3-stream viewer pack, organizations can either: a) have 1 user consume 3 different video streams at once, or b) have 3 different viewers each consume a video stream separately (either the same stream or up to 3 different ones). Note: the maximum number of streams does not count anyone consuming video via OpsCenter Anywhere on-scene, which comes with unlimited on-scene viewing.
For an additional charge, this maximum number of simultaneous streams per organization can be increased (see Pricing Sheet for tiers).