Drones were originally unmanned aerial vehicles developed for military use, but now their applications are expanding in many industries. Drones can go to places that are difficult for people to go, and carry out works such as shooting, searching, and monitoring. In recent years, the drones used in agriculture and construction in Korea have grown significantly.
Amid this fast rising market demand, there is a start-up with unrivaled technology that provides all-in-one drone solutions that can even be used in special areas. Power Korea learned about D. Air, a startup specializing in drones that will be used in all fields of our lives, and CEO Youngseok Jung.
|▲ D. Air / CEO Youngseok Jung
D. Air provides optimized solutions for drones
Customized drones for different needs and wants
D. Air, which was launched in 2022, has the highest level of drone/VTOL/unmanned helicopter design and manufacturing capabilities in Korea. The company is in the process of conducting research and development agreements with the Chonnam Defense Venture Center, Chonnam National University, Gwangju National University, Chodang National University, and Mokpo University.
The company is equipped with electric power-based unmanned helicopter design and manufacturing technology, open-source flight control system application drone design and manufacturing technology, aircraft malfunction prevention technology, and dual GPS system application technology.
The company has accumulated a track record of manufacturing VTOL prototypes specialized in marine monitoring, field demonstration, and industrial UAV manufacturing research projects, and is preparing a demonstration project for the development of a regional drone traffic management project (UTM) model.
D. Air does everything directly from basic drone control to the system part for service and airframe design.
CEO Youngseok Jung says “D. Air is mainly composed of developers. So both development and operation are possible. In addition, we are continuing research to enable drones to do the work that people in special industries do.”
The company also has know-how in special drones such as multicopters with four motors, helicopters, and airplanes, so it can customize drones for different industrial sites.
Since the staff is developer-centric, they can provide customized solutions that customers want, not only hardware but also software.
Drones are used for renewable energy facility maintenance and marine data collection
The company offers various types of drones. The V’Air 250 is an electrically powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft capable of long flight time and stable flight to suit mapping. The unmanned helicopter H900E is for training to control 1 type of unmanned powered flight device (25 kg or more). The D’Air 750 and D’Air 800 can inspect industrial facilities with light and stable autonomous driving.
The company is currently focusing on drones for the maintenance of renewable energy facilities such as solar and wind power, and of transmission and distribution facilities.
D. Air has recently been selected as a promising company in KEPCO’s Naju Jiangsu Special Zone and has received various supports, and is further advancing its renewable energy and O&M technologies.
CEO Jung says “Existing drones have been used a lot to collect data on land, but we are preparing a service to collect and monitor data on the sea.”
UAV ocean monitoring, which the company is currently focusing on, has many aspects that are not possible with existing drone technology. Due to the maritime environment conditions and the fact that it is difficult to find such a feature even when shooting, it is necessary to have a specialized solution for this. The company is working on such a solution using platforms and airframes that can fly at sea.
The future where drones do what people do
Discover new fields of services
Jung believes that in the future, the drone industry will gradually expand to the production of special-purpose drones and services. Currently, drone-related technologies require customization according to the situation and provide the services that the market actually wants.
As there are many impossible and special demands, it is necessary to invest in the development and commercialization. And the company is directly engaging in these areas.
Jung says “In the past, we only flew drones, then we used cameras to film, and we used pesticide spreaders for agriculture. Now we’re working on interlocking and balancing other equipment. Now the drone industry is in the era of an application industry.”
The company is preparing for unprecedented fields such as upgrading marine environment aerial photography services, and wind turbine blade inspection services using X-ray equipment.
In addition, the company is conducting UAM’s aircraft service, aircraft maintenance, and human resource training projects in the field of urban air mobility with local universities.
For ESG management, D. Air is pursuing family-friendly company certification research, drone charging facilities for waste batteries, hiring young people and women on career break, and an employee incentive system.
Jung says “Our goal is to create a UAV that can be used in a variety of areas and places. And we will prepare for the coming age of drones.”
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