UAVOS Tests All-weather, Electric Drone for Industrial Environments

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【Summary】For covert countermeasure missions, the startup offers anti-electronic warfare attachments for its electric drone fleet.

Michael Cheng    Feb 25, 2018 10:30 AM PT
UAVOS Tests All-weather, Electric Drone for Industrial Environments

Industrial work sites, including chemical processing facilities and shipyards, are some of the most unforgiving locations in the world. In most cases, such environments are combustible, due to the presence of flammable compounds (also known as Class I Hazardous Locations).

These are the types of extreme work sites UAVOS, a California-based drone maker, is preparing to take on, using its cutting-edge, electric UVH-EL drone. Earlier this month, the company successfully completed a series of difficult test flights to demonstrate the capabilities of its latest prototype.

Extreme Range, Discreet Surveillance

In the air, the startup's helicopter drone is a beast. With a takeoff weight of 55 pounds (maximum), the UAV can carry heavy payloads up to 13 pounds. The unit's electric engine can be upgraded for long flights exceeding 1.5 hours, at speeds up to 75 mph. SURVEYOR-HE, the company's automatic flight system, ensures smooth vertical takeoff.

Range is where the drone supersedes other units in its category, maxed out at 93.2 miles. It can also reach a maximum altitude of 11,483 feet.

"Our complex implements retransmission of data on the command line, which significantly increased the area of safe operation of the complex. The EW countermeasure function makes it possible to carry out research operations in the conditions of jamming or satellite radio navigation signals and the command line channel," said Vadim Tarasov, board member and investor at UAVOS.

UAVOS' drone fleet showcases some very interesting technology. The Apus High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite system is designed for controlling the company's solar-powered UAV. For covert countermeasure missions, the startup offers anti-electronic warfare attachments for its drone fleet.  

Industrial Applications

Industrial drones are in high demand, as businesses in the sector turn to UAVs to reduce operational safety and costs. In far-flung mining sites and military camps, the UAVOS electric UVH-EL drone can be used to transfer medical supplies in areas without reliable road infrastructure. When equipped with an infrared camera, the unit would be capable of flying at night.

For unmanned aerial inspections of remote oil refineries in Kazakhstan, the business deployed its robust gas-powered drone. During the projects, a wireless video recorder (mounted on a gyro-stabilized platform) was used to capture footage in real time.

"It is one of our first projects in Eastern Europe to replace traditional methods of inspection in the oil and gas and energy sectors with robotic technologies," said Tarasov.

"Our solutions are intended to help our customers with enhanced safety of inspections, to reduce the budget, and to improving the quality of inspection of industrial territories."

To reduce complications in flammable environments and work sites, the startup's latest prototype is powered by a pair of lithium-ion batteries. This suggests the UAV could potentially offer some form of intrinsic safety.

Furthermore, to decrease the risks of ignition, it is likely that the company's industrial UAV is made out of non-sparking materials. Such designs for industrial equipment closely adhere to explosion-proof builds, which is heavily regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – a leading government agency under the US Department of Labor.

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