Virginia Venture Partners, the equity investment program of Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), is investing in Blue Vigil, a manufacturer of tether power systems for commercial drones, which provide unlimited flight time for continuous flights.
Blue Vigil will use this investment to develop a prototype and execute a beta program for a new Aerial LED (ALED) drone-based lighting platform.
According to Blue Vigil, portable lights used to illuminate work sites today are big, heavy and dangerous. They must be towed into place, often resulting in suboptimal positioning. The light source also sits atop a mast which is practically limited to 25-30 feet in height. This combination of poor positioning and low mast height directs intense light across a work site at a low angle, creating dangerous glare that impacts workers, drivers and pedestrians.
Blue Vigil developed the ALED portable lighting platform to help solve this problem. The ALED replaces the light mast with a tethered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), illuminating the area from above and eliminating dangerous glare and shadows.
“Traditional man-portable stands lack adequate luminosity, while towable lights lack portability; both can lead to dangerous glare and devastating outcomes. By employing the use of LED panels and tethered UAVs, our highly-portable solution provides more usable light than existing products on the market,” said Rob Schumann, CEO. “We are thrilled to expand into this market and grow our product line, and we thank VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners for their support.”
Leveraging its existing drone power tether technology, Blue Vigil’s ALED portable lighting platform places a high-intensity, drone-mounted LED panel 75-100 feet above the desired area. The ALED is packaged in a rugged, man-portable case that allows the light to be optimally positioned. According to the company, the Blue Vigil ALED is one tenth the size and weight of traditional portable light towers and offers major operational and fleet management advantages over current portable lighting products at a comparable price point.
“With a management team of multiple professionals holding decades of experience in UAV, manufacturing and distribution businesses, Blue Vigil is well positioned to design a solution that will address these critical lighting problems across the board,” said Tom Weithman, VIPC Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of Virginia Venture Partners. “This innovative solution is unique in today’s market, and we are thrilled to contribute to its success.”