Five DoD Approved Public Safety Drones You Need To Know About

Thanks to the DoD's Defense Innovation Unit, the American drone market is alive and well, and today we're talking about the five drones that have been approved by the DoD through the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU).
September 15, 2020 by
Five DoD Approved Public Safety Drones You Need To Know About
Unmanned Vehicle Technologies, Chris Fink

On August 20, 2020, the United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit announced five drones that have been tested, approved, and are now formally available for government use. You can read more about the selection process for these drones here.

As one of the largest industrial unmanned systems solution providers in North America, it is our responsibility to spread awareness of important technological developments and current events in unmanned vehicles. UVT is honored and humbled to be able to offer three of the DoD’s selected drones, the Parrot ANAFI USA, the Teal Golden Eagle, and the FLIR ION M440 (formerly Altavian).

The Parrot ANAFI USA

This drone’s triple-sensor payload and 320x256 thermal imaging along with its IP53 rating for weather resistance and enhanced AES-XTS data encryption truly sets it apart and makes it perfect for the public safety needs of the U.S. government.

Parrot’s ANAFI USA is U.S. manufactured and offers the same high-end security, durability, and imaging capabilities as Parrot’s Short-Range Reconnaissance (SRR) drone designed for the U.S. Army.

The 32x zoom is designed around two 21-megapixel cameras, which allows operators to see details clearly from up to 5 km (3.1 mi) away. ANAFI USA can see details as small as 1 cm with precision from a distance of 50 meters.

ANAFI USA’s data encryption and privacy features are compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), delivering best-in-class privacy and security for sensitive missions.

Another thing that makes it special is that it’s easy to operate. The ability to create a flight plan with pre-set automatic flights and target-tracking make it easy for the entire team to carry out missions. The customizable Return to Home feature when the drone disconnects or is low on battery helps protect your drone from damage. It also folds easily for maximum portability.

The high level of image stabilization on 32x zoom images with a lightweight drone (500 g/1.1 lbs) is a particularly delicate technological achievement. The ANAFI USA is also the quietest drone in its class, with a sound level of just 79 dB when it is at ~1.5 feet (50 cm) off the ground. Parrot’s ANAFI USA is breaking barriers and proving what modern drones are capable of. See for yourself why the Parrot ANAFI USA was selected by the U.S. DoD and order yours on our website today!

The Teal Drones Golden Eagle

Built to satisfy the needs of the American government and the public sector, the Teal Golden Eagle is the ultimate example of American innovation in sUAS.

Teal’s Golden Eagle offers AI-enabled fully secure military-grade, covert, tactical flight. This American-made drone is built for short-range reconnaissance and powerful situational awareness. Teal’s leading-edge technology is rugged, secure, and easily adaptable to any situation, allowing you to accomplish even the most challenging operations.

The Teal Golden Eagle has benefits we could talk about for hours, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Flight times up to 50 minutes

  • Range up to 2+ miles

  • 100% secure data transmission

  • Leading-edge onboard computing

  • Enhanced autonomy

  • Modular construction

The next generation FLIR Hadron Dual Camera EO/IR payload with dual-axis stabilization comes standard, offering surveillance grade visible imaging and high sensitivity thermal imaging. This payload offers industry-leading clarity and resolution as well as a 12 MP RGB camera with unprecedented situational awareness and data capture capabilities.

This secure, quiet, and reliable UAV has its own American-made hand-held controller: the Teal Air Control or TAC. The TAC optimizes every aspect of unmanned system operation and enables front-line forces to stay safe and informed.

Adding the Teal Golden Eagle to your fleet will open unparalleled opportunities for you. Get started or schedule a free consultation with UVT on our website.


Through their acquisition of Altavian, FLIR has added yet another powerful sUAS to their catalog in the ION M440. The FLIR ION M440 is a tactical short-range reconnaissance quadcopter purpose-built for austere environments. The ION is a small, lightweight, ruck-sack portable drone. This system gets in the air fast, ready to perform advanced autonomous functions while operating in obstacle-rich environments.

GPS-denied flight capabilities, day and nighttime collision avoidance, and agile flight control make it an ideal reconnaissance air vehicle. The ION is NDAA-compliant and pre-approved for government acquisition by the Defense Innovation Unit’s Blue sUAS Program.

Some of the ION M440's most notable features are:

  • Cursor Field of View (CFOV) intelligence relay abilities

  • Embedded collision sensors

  • 37 minutes of flight time

  • 35 mph top speed

  • Modular open systems architecture

Through our direct relationship with FLIR, we're honored to be able to offer this system to our public safety and other enterprise customers. Check out the ION M440 right here on our website.

What about the other two?

The U.S. DoD’s list doesn’t stop there. Here’s the breakdown of the other two drones that made the government’s shortlist.

Skydio’s X2

The Skydio X2 is Skydio’s first non-consumer device marketed for government agencies. An article from The Verge explains that the Skydio X2, “is designed explicitly for the US Army.”

Some of the Skydio X2-D’s most notable features are:

  • GPS-powered night flight

  • IR illuminators for better visuals and target acquisition while flying in the dark

  • Enterprise-grade controller with a built-in touchscreen

  • 35 minutes of flight time

  • 320x256 thermal camera

  • 12 MP visual camera

  • 360° Superzoom for up to 100x zoom in all directions

Vantage Robotics’ Vesper

The Vesper is being offered to a select few customers this year and is known for its government-grade security, portability, and stealth capabilities. More information about Vantage Robotics’ Vesper and their partnership with the DoD can be found here.

Some of the Vantage Robotics Vesper’s most notable features are:

  • 30-minute endurance

  • Over 3 km radio range

  • Thermal and low light sensors

  • Ultra-miniature gimbals

  • Modular drone architecture

  • Low latency 4K video streaming

Looking to the Future

These drones are some of the best on the market, especially when it comes to public safety and government agencies that need a U.S.-made solution. UVT offers a wide variety of unmanned vehicles and is happy to help you find the one that best fits your mission requirements. Are you interested in how UAVs can help you and your organization succeed? Contact UVT today!

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