What does Planck Aero do?

Planck combines artificial intelligence, advanced controls, computer vision, and rigorous testing to enable drones to be able to operate from moving platforms and execute fully autonomous missions. Our customers include government agencies and commercial maritime operators.

What’s the big deal about drones from moving platforms? What is that so hard?

Existing drone technology is built around a static environment, and assumes that the “home” position is not moving. As soon as that assumption is changed, so much stops working. A moving platform doesn’t just move forward or backward. It moves up and down, side to side, and rocks and rolls. Not only does the landing have to be precise, it has to respond to a rapidly changing situation. In addition, wind around moving platforms complicates things further. It isn’t just about knowing where you want the drone to go, but also how to get there in a safe, reliable manner.

Drone, UAV, or sUAS? What’s the difference and what does Planck make?

These terms are all similar, or interchangeable, depending on who you talk to. Planck builds fully autonomous small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), which we also call drones. We refer to the aircraft itself as the UAV.

Does Planck make the drones, or just the software?

Both! Planck builds the Shearwater drone system, which includes Planck’s software. The autonomy is all due to the software, which can be integrated into 3rd party aircraft.

How can I get Planck’s technology in my drone?

Contact us about options to integrate Planck’s technology into your systems. Generally, there is an initial non-recurring engineering effort on the first unit, and then just a license fee for each additional unit. Every aircraft and application is different, and there is no “one size fits all.” We’re happy to learn more about your needs and plan a path forward.

What happens if it falls into the water? Is it waterproof?

Most drones are not waterproof. Planck’s drones are not waterproof either, and are not intended to go into the water. Fortunately, the guidance and navigation system is well-tested and reliable, so the drone gets back to your boat and lands where it is supposed to (not in the water), without the need for a highly skilled pilot.

I want to see it for myself. How can I get a demonstration?

We regularly hold test and demonstration events in the San Diego area, both from our boat and our truck. Contact us to schedule a demo. We also participate in technology demonstration exercises with government agencies and maritime operators throughout the year.

Does Planck work with university partners?

On occasion, Planck will work on joint projects with university partners. We are open to collaborations, so please contact us to discuss.

What are you company values?

Integrity. Elegance. Utility. These are the values for the company as a whole. We seek to create real solutions to real problems, and never make claims that we can’t back up.

Where are you located?

Planck Aero is located in San Diego, CA, which is the perfect crossroads for maritime technology (‘BlueTech’), unmanned systems development, government customers, and excellent weather for year-round flying.

Do you export?

Yes. Contact us to discuss where you’d like to export and the options to do so.

What payloads can you integrate?

Planck has integrated many different payloads, including high resolution cameras, IR sensors, SIGINT boxes, and others. We keep our interfaces standard and open, so that users can adopt the best payloads for their mission.

Can Planck’s software make my drone land on boats?

It depends. Some drone systems do not accept inputs from third party software. Planck’s software is best suited for VTOL aircraft that require precision landing on moving vessels. There are hardware and software requirements, and typically an initial integration effort.