Hovering UAVs secure Jerusalem’s light train

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BLADEWORX is among the presenters at the upcoming Autonomous Unmanned Systems & Robotics Expo on November 25-26 2014

Phantom UAV. Image: courtesy of Blade Worx
Phantom UAV. Image: courtesy of Blade Worx

The disturbances and riots which broke out in Shue’fat immediately after the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in early July this year, and spread all over Jerusalem, the light train’s infrastructure was targeted at numerous points, and all the CCTVs along the tracks and in the stops had been vandalized.
Even after the initial reconstruction works of the light train system and cars, amid repeated attempts to return to business as usual, the CCTVs kept being the constant target for destruction and damage by the rioters, thereby preventing law enforcement and security forces from effectively monitoring the light train and its whereabouts, and controling events.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat personally contacted BLADEWORX, following which an extraordinary cooperation unfolded between the company, Israeli Police and Jerusalem’s Municipality, in the framework of which a squadron of 6 ‘Phantom’ UAVs (DJI-made unmanned multi-rotor airborne systems) equipped with video day cameras and thermal imaging for nighttime was operated for an entire month 24/7.
The ‘Phantoms’ hovered over the light train’s lines, the track and the train cars, the light train’s maintenance sections and over those areas where the riots focused and posed a risk to the light train’s ongoing operations. In the absence of any actual ability to monitor the events along the light train line and control them, operating the light trainhas become too risky and unsafe – as long as an imminent attack on the light train’s cars and passengers cannot be identified without monitoring and visual means.
Rapid, quality, operational and professional coordination between Israeli Police’s air unit, the Civil Aviation Authority, Jerusalem’s Municipality and BLADEWORX, has led to operational activity which bore immediate fruit, achieved command and control over the events along the tracks and allowed the forces on the ground to focus on the areas requiring immediate attention, whether of police action or engineering teams.

Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

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Live video feed from the hovering ‘Phantoms’ was carried out relatively simply and efficiently to both the municipality’s dedicated situation room and to the police operations HQ. In addition, each (authorized) police officer on the ground and each relevant Jerusalem security official was able to receive the video broadcast on their smartphones, using a tailored application.
BLADEWORX began operating in Israel only a year ago. The company focuses on, inter alia, the highly important field of operating unmanned aerial vehicles. In fact, the company was among the first in Israel and among the first worldwide, to receive a license to fly multi-rotor UAVs near residential zones (while maintaining eye contact with the ‘Phantom’). The company received specific licenses to operate the UAVs in unique operational deployments, such as over Shue’fat, without having to maintain eye contact, and over built-up areas.
BLADWORX was established in the framework of the Be’er Sheva technological incubators Forum Group. The company runs the bulk of its activity from Be’er Sheva. Most of its operations focus on providing highly diverse videos to the media sector. Among the company’s clients: the Sports Channel and Channel Two. BLADEWORX is also the exclusive representative of one the world’s largest UAV manufacturers, Micro Drones.

BLADEWORX is among the presenters at the upcoming Autonomous Unmanned Systems & Robotics Expo on November 25-26 2014