Red Cat Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: RCAT), a drone technology company integrating robotic hardware and software for military, government and commercial operations, announced August 22 that the military-grade Teal 2 had received Remote ID certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The news was closely followed on August 23 by an announcement that the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) had doubled its order for Teal 2, ordering an additional 172 units plus spare parts and training. The DLA order now totals over $5 million.
The Teal 2 is a US-manufactured, short range reconnaissance (SRR) drone. With the motto “Dominate the Night™” they are specially designed for tactical work even in darkness: ideal for military, law enforcement, firefighter, and wildlife management applications.
Teal 2 and Remote ID
All operators in the US must comply with the Remote ID rule as of September 16, 2023. Remote ID allows UAS in flight to provide identification and location information that other parties – such as law enforcement – can receive via a broadcast signal. This helps security agencies identify the operators of rogue drones – and understand which drones are operating legitimately in the space. For a tactical drone like Teal 2, which may be deployed in emergency situations, Remote ID is a critical tool for integration into first responder missions.
Red Cat’s integrated Remote ID system goes above and beyond the technology being used in competing drones. It sits inside the Teal 2 vehicle, broadcasting data from the flight control system about once per second to ensure a high level of accuracy. The use of Bluetooth 5 allows the signal to be transmitted over a longer distance — as far as a mile — significantly outpacing the range of other systems on the market.
“I think this really speaks to who we are at Red Cat and what our values are,” said Brendan Stewart, vice president of regulatory affairs at Red Cat. “We view ourselves as an aircraft manufacturer, as opposed to a consumer electronics manufacturer building something that flies. What sets us apart is our ability to look into the future, figure out what the FAA’s goals are in implementing a particular regulation, and then build technology that allows us to not only meet the regulation today, but sets our customers up for long-term success in a changing regulatory environment.”
Red Cat recently tested its Remote ID integration in New York with NUAIR acting as the independent third-party validator, using ASTM International standard F3586-22 for the means of compliance testing. Working alongside individuals from the standardization committee who helped write the regulations for Remote ID, NUAIR personnel also provided mission commander, visual observers, airworthiness check and test card formulation.
“Remote ID is another great step forward to safely integrate drones into the national airspace and move the commercial drone industry forward,” said NUAIR CEO Ken Stewart. “NUAIR has conducted multiple validations for other ASTM Standards including sUAS parachute recovery systems and we are happy to see Red Cat receive their certification following our successful validation of their Remote ID solution.”
All Teal 2 systems sold for operation within the U.S. will be manufactured with Remote ID included. Red Cat is also creating a pathway for owners of previously manufactured Teal 2s to have Remote ID modules installed on their units to comply with FAA regulations.
“We’ve put a lot of effort, a lot of resources and a lot of capital into this to make sure that our customers won’t have a service interruption,” said Brendan Stewart. “For us at Red Cat, standing behind the quality of our products means ensuring that they’ll remain operational and compliant with regulations long into the future.”
New Order of Teal 2 Drones
Teal will deliver an additional 172 units of the Teal 2 drone plus spare parts and training to the DLA. Earlier this month, Red Cat announced an initial order from the DLA for 172 units, also totaling $2.6 million. Combined, the two orders now total $5.2 million.
Both orders were requested by U.S. Air Force Security Forces, whose role is to defend Air Force bases and installations.
“The Air Force needs to secure its airfields and bases 24/7, and the Teal 2 offers the highest-resolution night vision in its class,” said Red Cat CEO Jeff Thompson. “We’re honored that the Air Force has now doubled its order, to more than $5 million.”
The procurements were sourced by global operations support company Noble Supply & Logistics, LLC (NOBLE) as part of the DLA’s Special Operational Equipment Tailored Logistics Support (SOE TLS) Program.
NOBLE is a DLA-designated provider for the SOE TLS Program. This 10-year program, capped at $33 billion, covers the delivery of logistics support to federal agencies, military bases and other DLA customers worldwide, helping them meet their SOE requirements.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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