Talks in place to integrate AAM sensing technology with LIFT Aircraft’s HEXA eVTOL for medical emergency missions

Dis­cus­sions are under­way between the city of Hilliard in Ohio, Ghost­wave and Par­al­lax Advanced Research to incor­po­rate a sens­ing sys­tem with LIFT Air­craft’s HEXA eVTOL, so it can be used as a form of trans­port for emer­gency respon­ders.

The sys­tem has been devel­oped by Ghost­wave, which mon­i­tors the loca­tions of mul­ti­ple air­craft and drones in the air and uses real-time sen­sor data inte­grat­ed with the teleme­try on board HEXA. Ghost­wave radars utilise its patent­ed, pseu­do-ran­dom radio fre­quen­cy gen­er­a­tor, which reduces the like­li­hood of a near­by radars util­is­ing the exact same fre­quen­cy at the exact time.

The Detect-and-Avoid sys­tem has been fund­ed by Par­al­lax Advanced Research’s Ohio Fed­er­al Research Net­work pro­gram and future plans include a first-of-its-kind live pub­lic safe­ty demon­stra­tion, sched­uled for June 3rd, 2021.

Dean Zody, CEO of Ghost­Wave, said: “Our tech­nol­o­gy is high­ly capa­ble of pre­vent­ing a mid-air col­li­sion with close­ly sit­u­at­ed air­borne objects, which is vital when it comes to pub­lic safe­ty use cas­es. It will detect and clas­si­fy obsta­cles in the vicin­i­ty while com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the pilot. If we can help first respon­ders safe­ly arrive on scene more quick­ly, then we will have real­ly done some­thing.”

HEXA was brought to Ohio for con­tin­ued research and test­ing in Feb­ru­ary 2021; an effort made pos­si­ble through part­ner­ships between the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX pro­gram, the office of Ohio Gov­er­nor Mike DeWine, and Job­sO­hio.

This vision was first pio­neered by Par­al­lax Advanced Research and the Ohio Fed­er­al Research Net­work back in 2017, when both enti­ties were behind a $7 mil­lion push to expand drone devel­op­ment and advance sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy research in sup­port of Ohio’s fed­er­al and state mis­sions.

OFRN Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Bob Tan­ner, added: “This is what our pro­gram has always been about: con­nect­ing a net­work of Ohio inno­va­tors at the lead­ing edge of tech­nol­o­gy to pro­duce rev­o­lu­tion­ary break­throughs that trans­form the way we do busi­ness in Ohio.”

Con­sist­ing of 18 pro­pellers, motors, and bat­ter­ies, HEXA is a one-seat pilot­ed ultra­light air­craft which weighs only 432 pounds. No pilot’s license or advanced train­ing is required, and the air­craft is cleared to fly over con­gest­ed areas when oper­at­ed under pub­lic use.

LIFT Air­craft is one of the first of its size to join Agili­ty Prime’s ‘Air Race to Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion’, and has also secured a Small Busi­ness Inno­va­tion Research (SBIR) con­tract.

Its CEO Matt Chasen per­formed the first Agili­ty Prime demon­stra­tion in front of senior U.S. Air Force offi­cials in August 2020, and Kevin Rusta­gi, the com­pa­ny’s Direc­tor of Busi­ness Oper­a­tions, talked more about HEXA as part of eVTOL Insights’ pop­u­lar pod­cast series.

Com­ment­ing on these dis­cus­sions in Ohio, Chasen added: “Our ini­tial mar­ket, expe­ri­en­tial enter­tain­ment, has had an incred­i­ble response. As we’ve fur­ther devel­oped HEXA, we’ve rec­og­nized the pow­er of our air­craft to save lives. This Ohio col­lab­o­ra­tion will help make that pos­si­ble.”

Avatar photo

Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

eVTOL Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769