Venture-backed unmanned aircraft system software company Kittyhawk has launched a product for DJI drones. It plans for more hardware partners down the road, but Josh Ziering, co-founder and chief pilot of Kittyhawk, said integrating with DJI solves a big problem: domestic data storage.
The product is Flight Deck, a flight control and functionality feature for its Kittyhawk platform. DJI drone pilots no longer have to switch between Kittyhawk and their flight control platform. Pre-flight, flight and post-flight duties can all be completed on Flight Deck.
“From the app, you can do your pre-flight checklist, your airspace planning. You can fly, take your pictures, take your video and then the second you land, all of the telemetry data gets uploaded directly to the Kittyhawk cloud,” Ziering told Avionics. “So we don’t just have flightlogs. We have rich, full accounts of what you were doing including airspace, weather, height, speed, location — all second by second.”
Kittyhawk runs on Amazon Web Services, and Ziering said it uses “industry-standard security practices,” like public key encryption. The company has high-profile customers — including Shell, Intel and CNN — who need to make sure their data is safe.
“We are very cognizant that our data is sensitive. We have a lot of customers that have a mandate from the federal government because they are critical infrastructure that none of their data can be stored in China,” Ziering said. “Flight Deck has a huge advantage because if you are using DJI GO, it’s talking to China, and that makes a lot of people nervous. We have customers that are specifically mandated to be domestically stored, and Flight Deck offers them the ability to fly their DJI stuff, and not have their data go to China.”
According to the company, Kittyhawk is the only real-time flight operations and management solution on the market for drones. Flight Deck is also integrated with the AirMap platform, enabling real-time traffic alerts and the ability to share their live telemetry with airports and other airspace users.