OpenSky – Drone Flyer App - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

Yes, I learned how to program at UC Berkeley where I double majored in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. Prior to working at Wing, I worked on Google Photos as an Tech Lead of Android Partnerships.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

Figuring how to provide a lot of information in a way that is understandable for the user. It was fun trying to figure out:

o How we indicate things like where you can/can’t fly in
o Building out the dynamic checklist that shows the pilot what preflight checks we’ve done.
o Providing the user with additional metadata on restrictions they see on the map.
o Designing the logbook page that shows a snapshot of your past, current and upcoming flights.

We aimed to balance the needs of the sophisticated drone pilot while maintaining an approachability for the newer drone pilot.

The interviewee, Tara Rezvani, is the UTM Engineering Lead at Wings Aviation LCC - A company that develops and operates a drone delivery system and UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) systems. Wing has delivered more than 350,000 packages by drone across three continents, including Australia, the United States, and Finland. Wing’s mission is to make delivery faster, safer, and more sustainable.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

Google Photos: I love Google Photos because it helps people naturally reminisce. I love the “5 years ago today…” or “trip highlight” cards at the top of my photo reel. Looking back on those memories often makes me smile. Since the invention of the smartphone, we all take so many photos and Google Photos makes it simple to search, find and share pictures.

Strava: fun to track and share workouts with friends and cheer each other on.

How long have you been working on this app?

We built and launched OpenSky in the Summer of 2019. I joined Wing and building OpenSky was my first project. Now I’m the Engineering Lead for Uncrewed Air Traffic Management (UTM) which includes the OpenSky app in the broad portfolio of products and services we build to ensure Wing & others share the airspace safely.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

We wanted to provide the user with an easy way to understand the airspace around them and fly their drone confidently and safely. Our app targets the needs of both the sophisticated commercial drone pilot as well as the hobbyist who may have just gotten their first drone and wants to fly for the first time.

We also built the app with the goal of providing users easy access to LAANC controlled airspace. OpenSky has been a certified FAA LAANC provider since our US launch in 2021.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

• We see OpenSky as part of a community of drone flier apps that are all working to make the airspace more accessible.
• We are particularly proud of our US LAANC certifications
• We do take care to ensure the app is easy to use while also providing a wealth of information for users who want to dive in deeper. Understanding the airspace as a new pilot can feel complicated and with OpenSky we aim to make it as simple and safe as possible.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We just improved our flight planning flow making it even faster and easier for people to fly. We’re continuing to grow and improve our checklist and data sources to ensure our OpenSky pilots have the most up to date information. We’d love to hear any feedback or feature ideas from our users.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

Try flying a drone if you haven’t already and check OpenSky before takeoff.

OpenSky – Drone Flyer App

About App:

OpenSky is a convenient and quick solution for drone pilots to view the rules and regulations of flying drones in the U.S. and Australia. You can easily find out where you are allowed to fly your drone, plan your flight with a few simple steps, check the airspace rules and get access to controlled airspace through LAANC in near real time.

Some of the features of OpenSky are: Drone flying guide - Learn about the places and times where you can or cannot fly your drone based on the aviation regulations set by the FAA (U.S) and CASA (Australia). Maps from Aviation Authorities - OpenSky helps you to see the airspace rules that are relevant to your operation and aircraft; for both recreational & commercial drone pilots. Risk identification - OpenSky will alert you of any potential flight hazards in your area such as Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs). Airspace authorizations - You can automatically request permission to fly in controlled airspace, including the busy airspace near major cities. In the United States this is called LAANC. Mission tracking - OpenSky will keep track of your past and future flights, and notify you of any changes to your planned flights.

You can find out more about Opensky at:

Categories: Tools

Date: October 4, 2023

Developer: Wing Aviation LLC

About developer: The interviewee, Tara Rezvani, is the UTM Engineering Lead at Wings Aviation ... Read more



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