DESIGNED FOR SAFETYThe Zip drones are able to avoid other aircraft using a new acoustic detection and avoidance (DAA) system.
Zipline’s DAA system uses small, lightweight microphones and onboard processors to listen for aircraft within 2,000 meters, determine their flight path and adjust accordingly.
“DAA is the result of years of development and hundreds of thousands of flight hours,” Zipline co-founder and CTO Keenan Wyrobek said when announcing the technology last month. “It’s an elegant answer to the challenges of flying beyond the visual line of sight in the United States not in 10 years — but today.”
Each drone has two motors for redundancy and backup navigation and communication systems that kick in automatically in the case of a system failure. But if something goes wrong and the flight op team wants the drone out of the air immediately, a parachute system can safely lower the aircraft down to the ground. The drones are designed to be brittle so they’ll break apart on impact.