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Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Agreements established between Canada and Switzerland to develop the world's most advanced autonomous inspection system.

CALGARY, Canada, November 2, 2022 - Today, Aethon Aerial Solutions Inc (Aethon) and AeroVision Canada Inc (AeroVision Canada) announced a long-term research and development collaboration agreement with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (SAIT) Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems (CIRUS) and ANAVIA, a Swiss Based manufacture of heavy lift UAS vehicles. The combined initiative will be part of SAIT’s ongoing Cooperation Agreement between Canada and Switzerland related to Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Un-crewed Air Systems (UAS) operations.

Under the Agreement, AeroVision Canada and Aethon will leverage CIRUS' renowned international reputation and expertise in long endurance RPAS systems and ANAVIA’s recently released HT-100 UAS to begin immediate long-range BVLOS missions for commercial applications related to powerline Inspection and other liner corridors.

The commercialization agreement is between SAIT CIRUS, ANAVIA, a Federally incorporated Swiss Drone Manufacturer, AeroVision Canada a Federally Incorporated Canadian Corporation based in Nova Scotia, and Aethon, a Federally incorporated Canadian Corporation with operations in Ontario Alberta and British Columbia.

In announcing the Agreement, Shahab Moeini, the Operations Manager for CIRUS stated, "We believe the integration of the CIRUS team’s expert knowledge of BVLOS requirements and its proficiency in operating advanced heavy-duty (above 25Kg) long endurance civilian drones, such as the HT-100, provides a unique opportunity for the Aethon-AeroVision team to reduce to practice commercial BVLOS operational requirements to provide drone-based long-endurance powerline inspection and mapping."

Alastair Jenkins, the CEO of Aethon stated, “The result of this cooperation will be our ability to meet the next generation needs of our existing clients in the electrical utility, oil & gas, transportation, and telecom sectors. We believe combining the CIRUS team’s knowledge and expertise with our own research and development efforts will create a unique opportunity to revolutionize BVLOS operations. Our co-development of technology, hardware, software and operational safety procedures will allow us to offer safe and reliable long-range commercial BVLOS operations globally."

Jon Andri Joerg, CEO of ANAVIA stated, "We developed the HT-100 with the intent of creating a commercially viable Drone with the endurance, reliability and payload capacity to make commercial BVLOS operations possible for qualified aerospace and aviation enterprises, enabling them to commence the next chapter in autonomous flight operations. With a payload capacity of 50KG and an endurance of over three hours, the HT-100 will be able to carry the next generation of inspection and mapping payloads replacing operations previously only possible with manned helicopters."

Trevor Bergmann, the President of AeroVision Canada added, "The industry and Government have for many years espoused the potential long-term benefits that will accrue from Drone operations BVLOS, but improvements in both the technology and regulatory framework were necessary to achieve success. Aethon and AeroVision Canada have cooperated on BVLOS and UAV operations with Transport Canada for over five years and have an established a Cooperation Agreement with Transport Canada related to UAS operations in close proximity to powerlines. This program and the partnerships we have established today will now allow these benefits to be achieved, resulting in improved safety, significantly reduced carbon emissions as well as employment, and economic growth in Canada and Switzerland."


About the Organizations

CIRUS The Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems (CIRUS) is a division of SAITs Applied Research and Innovation Services arm. CIRUS has a world-renowned reputation for their expertise in uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), including long-range, heavy lift machines, sensor integration and testing, and data processing and interpretation. Their status as an educational institution and research partner to the industry allows them to be an unbiased, expert partner.

Aethon Aerial Solutions Inc is a Canadian Corporation with significant experience in commercial deployment of airborne LiDAR and imaging systems and software. The Company's primary application is power line inspection and mapping and has performed over 800,000 Km of power line mapping. In the past 24 months, the company has inspected over 250,000 structures for various clients in Canada, USA and internationally using a combination of helicopters and UAVs. Aethon has invested significantly in developing hardware and software related to a series of fully autonomous LiDAR and imaging systems marketed under the trade name Helios-1 and Helios-2 that are planned to be leased to utilities and helicopter operators domestically and internationally under the "Aethon Affiliate Program."

AeroVision Canada Inc is a Canadian Corporation with professional experience in traditional aviation, uncrewed aerial vehicles ("UAVs") and complex Part IX operations. It provides BVLOS drone expertise for commercial and industrial purposes. AeroVision Canada's team comprises individuals with (25+ years of) crewed and uncrewed flight certifications under Part IX, civil and military expertise, and significant experience using the SORA risk model (a critical component of the BVLOS approval process in Canada).

ANAVIA is a Swiss-based corporation specializing in the design, development & manufacturing of vertical takeoff & landing (VTOL) systems. The Company offers industry-leading uncrewed helicopter systems for various mission profiles, such as Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Inspection or Mapping & Cargo. ANAVIA has invested significantly in developing the HT-100 UAV, a UAV capable of flying the Helios -1 and Helios-2 systems developed by Aethon autonomously during Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations.


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