American Water announced that its Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) Program has partnered with The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII). Together they will perform research under a New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 91 Certificate of Authorization (COA). The COA will enable research activities to occur beyond the visual line of sight and at an altitude up to 1,500 feet above ground level (AGL). 

“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.”

American Water’s long-range mapping and inspection airframe, Censys Technologies Sentaero, provides the ability to inspect facilities safely. This can be done from miles away through high-resolution cameras and stay 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 works with several government agencies and partner organizations to enable BVLOS UAS missions during temporary flight restrictions.

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