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FLIR acquires tethered drone assets from Aria Insights

08 Oct 2019

Deal with UAS pioneer, formerly called CyPhy Works, includes intellectual property, and multiple patents.

Sensing solutions giant Flir Systems has acquired the intellectual property and certain operating assets of drone developer Aria Insights. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Previously known as CyPhy Works, Aria pioneered the development of tethered, small, unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). Founded in 2008, by iRobot co-founder Helen Greiner and backed by several leading technology investors, Aria notably developed the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) tethered drone.

The company – one of whose marketing messages was “think of our drones as autonomous teammates. They enter logistically difficult and potentially dangerous environments so you don’t have to” – ceased operations in March 2019.

Persistent observation

Tethered drones connect to a base station or vehicle by microfilament wire, which provides both continuous power and secure communications. For certain applications, a tethered drone offers advantages over a free-flying UAS, enabling sustained operations on longer missions and persistent situational awareness so users can perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) functions.

The Aria assets will be integrated into FLIR’s Unmanned Systems & Integrated Solutions Division, augmenting the company’s technology portfolio developed from its acquisitions of Prox Dynamics in 2016, and Aeryon Labs and Endeavor Robotics earlier this year.

“Tethered UAS systems are becoming an increasingly valuable tool for force protection, border security, and critical infrastructure protection,” said David Ray, president of FLIR’s Government and Defense business. “Aria’s technology and IP assets will enable us to enhance current capabilities and advance the range of solutions we can deliver to customers in this growing market segment.”

“We are pleased to complete the sale of our assets to FLIR Systems,” said Lance Vandenbrook, former CEO of Aria Insights. “We are proud of the technology our team developed through the operations of CyPhy Works and Aria, and we believe FLIR offers the best opportunity to see it make a difference and support critical missions in the years ahead.”

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