ACSL, a prominent drone manufacturer based in Japan, will make its compact 4K video drone, SOTEN, available for purchase in the US later this year. The company established a new subsidiary in California to ensure the aircraft's compliance with the National Defense Authorization Act and its competitive pricing for government users. SOTEN has already seen thousands of deployments in Japanese government and enterprise customers. ACSL assures users that the drone follows strict security protocols and has an encrypted communication system between the drone and the controller. The company spent more than ten years developing its proprietary flight controller, resulting in a highly refined and feature-rich autopilot.
ACSL, a prominent Japanese drone manufacturer, has announced that its SOTEN compact 4K video drone will be made available for purchase in the United States later this year. The company has opened a new subsidiary in California to ensure that the aircraft is both competitively priced and compliant with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — key considerations for many government users.
Founded in 2013, ACSL is publicly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It was the first company in Japan to receive Class 1 drone Type certification from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and also supports the Disaster Management Agency of Japan during emergencies.
ACSL Of Japan Introduces SOTEN Drone To US Market As A DJI Alternative
Incidentally, ACSL has roped in Cynthia Huang as the CEO of its US subsidiary. Huang, a member of the Commercial UAV Advisory Board, has previously led the North American Enterprise segment for tech giant DJI and open-source drone software company Auterion. Huang says, “Japan is a country renowned for its manufacturing of premium technology and ACSL is no exception. There is immense attention to detail and very intentional product development that goes into each system. We are truly excited to bring the next generation of Japanese drone technology to the US market and offer new solutions to an industry looking for more options.”
SOTEN was launched in late 2021 and has already seen thousands of deployments across Japanese government and enterprise customers. ACSL is quick to point out that the drone will follow strict security protocols, allowing users to optionally encrypt photos and videos before they are recorded to the onboard memory card. The communication between the drone and the controller, meanwhile, is always encrypted.
But what makes the SOTEN particularly interesting for the US market is its hot-swappable camera system. The standard 1-inch sensor photography camera, ACSL says, can be swapped with an EO/IR camera, multispectral camera, or optical zoom camera depending on the user’s requirements.
The company further explains it has spent over a decade developing its proprietary flight controller from the ground up. The result is a highly refined and feature-rich autopilot that has received consistent praise for its flight characteristics and robustness.
SOTEN is an IP43-rated product with an estimated flight time of 25-29 minutes. Right now, the drone comes with tri-directional obstacle avoidance with sensors placed on the aircraft’s front, bottom, and top. But ACSL says it would be working with US organizations to further refine the drone before its US launch.
The MQ-9B SkyGuardian is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. It is a medium-altitude, long-endurance drone that can fly for over 40 hours at altitudes of up to 40,000 feet. The drone is capable of conducting various missions, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), electronic warfare, airborne early warning, and anti-submarine warfare. It can also carry a variety of weapons systems. The MQ-9B SkyGuardian is currently used by the US Air Force and has been ordered by several other countries for their military operations.
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