By Chad Sweet, CEO, ModalAI
Recent adjustments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) have impacted American companies that use foreign drones and drone parts. The government now bars certain agencies from procuring unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), flight controllers and components developed or manufactured in a covered foreign country, specifically China.
For companies like Inspired Flight, a developer of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for
industrial and critical missions, the new procurement requirements posed a problem in their production process. The California-based company, like many others in America, relied on a China-based company to obtain internal components for their UAVs.
“What we had been using before were Chinese-fabricated controllers, which had numerous quality and reliability issues,” said Martin Bialy, Head of Engineering at Inspired Flight.
Since its founding in 2016, Inspired Flight has specialized in creating mid-to-large-sized drones and drone components for a broad range of industries.
Initially a UAV components manufacturer, Inspired Flight patented the Bernoulli 3 motor. It was the first industrial UAV motor to successfully integrate an electronic speed controller (ESC) for maximum efficiency and in-field replacement.
The company then introduced its first complete commercial UAV platform in 2018, and now has a full series of quadcopters.
Inspired Flight’s customers use UAVs for the following applications, just to name a few:
Mining inspection – Customers fly drones underground to check tunnels for obstructive
areas or cave-ins before sending employees into precarious surroundings. The drones use
LiDAR, radar that uses a laser to measure distance.
Forestry monitoring – As climate change continues to impact the world at a rapid pace,
companies use vision-based drones to count trees, record changes in forestation over time and make adjustments to further growth.
Military protection and research – Drones equip soldiers with clear, extensive surveillance video to detect threats early. Some divisions even use the UAVs as weapon systems to counter and subdue other aerial vehicles.
Because Inspired Flight drones are designed to adapt to a variety of industries, the company’s customers, and the needs of those customers, are diverse. For many, especially military clientele, American-made parts were required to secure the orders.
Inspired Flight saw the need to adjust its procurement process, so they could comply with all government-related regulations and give their customers a 100% made-in-USA product.
“We started searching the internet for American-made flight controllers and we found
ModalAI,” said Bialy.
American-Made Components: Better Quality, More Support and Reduced Failures
ModalAI develops and manufactures highly-integrated
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