It doesn’t boast the slick curves of a Volocopter drone taxi, but then again it’s not designed to fly people around cosmopolitan urban environments. The Surveyor-HE has been successfully tested this week by its makers, California-based unmanned aerial solutions company UAVOS Inc., and is more rugged, more capable, has a longer flight time and is able to fly at an extreme range of temperatures, making it ideal for monitoring and surveying remote areas of the earth including bodies of water and ice.
It differs from its predecessor, the Surveyor-H, in that it is powered by an electric engine and is able to carry a payload of up to 6kg. With this light configuration it can fly for up to 45 minutes, however it’s high capacity lithium-ion double battery configuration allows a maximum flight time of up to 1.5hrs. With a 70km (43.5m) direct radio visibility data transmission range, and the ability to withstand temperatures from -20C to +40C (-4F to +104F), the Surveyor-HE unmanned helicopter is intended to be deployed for missions involving surveillance, communications and anti-drone protection. Along with an electronic countermeasure system, and a practical top altitude of 3500m, this makes for a UAV with high performance capabilities that is able to fly in less than ideal weather conditions.
“Our complex implements retransmission of data on the command line, which significantly increases 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 of satellite radio navigation signals and the command line channel,” said Vadim Tarasov, UAVOS investor and Board member.
The entire Surveyor-HE helicopter package includes the unmanned aerial vehicle as well as a command module for the unmanned aerial system. The length of the fuselage is 87.8″ (2230 mm), the diameter of the main rotor is 98.4” (2500 mm). The practical range of the unmanned helicopter is 93.2 miles (150 km), and the UAV has registered top speeds of up to 120km/h (75m/h).
Tarasov continued, “Created on an already proven, reputable platform, this helicopter has superior characteristics that increase the reliability of the vehicle. In particular, the tail rotor drive is removed, the BLDC (brushless) motor and the fixed-pitch rotor blades are installed, the ballistic rescue system is finalized. We are confident that the performance characteristics of the new UAVOS unmanned helicopter will expand the possibilities for our Customer, improve the quality and level of project implementation.”
UAVOS are already cemented in the unmanned aircraft space. Specialising in jam-resistant communications, automatic control algorithms, navigation and flight safety, they design, develop and manufacture unmanned vehicles and autopilot systems as well as individual components, from servo drives and pan-tilt platforms to parachute rescue/landing systems and other UAV accessories and components. Their systems have been flown as far afield Indonesia, and when we interviewed Vadim Tarasov last year, had industrial projects underway in Eastern European countries such as such as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Kazakhstan. They don’t need to give Volocopter a run for their money, but we don’t think that’s going to be necessary.