The Next Generation ConservationDrones Long Range VTOL is out

Next Generation ConservationDrones Long Range VTOL

The next generation ConservationDrone is capable of vertical take-off and landing or VTOL in full auto mode and fly a distance of 70 KM. We believe this is a new mile stone in the development of ConservationDrones.

Since the introduction of ConservationDrone back in 2012, There have been many improvements in term of hardware, such as the flight controller, air frame, and also software. Today, the components such as brushless motor, servos and flight controller are robust and reliable. In term of firmware, Ardupilot airplane firmware used by thousands of drone mission flight in daily basis. Any bugs can be discovered very fast and the development team is very proactive to iron out any issues.

For our fixed wing drones, take-off and landing is always an issue. More than 60% of the time in our training program is used to prepare the student pilots on how to land the drone, hopefully in one piece. Take-off is relatively easy with our over powered and light weight drone.

We are confident that we can train student pilots to land the drone within the 4 days training period. So far, we maintain a 100% success rate. But there is no guaranty that the pilot can do the same in the field, especially in tropical forest area where open space is hard to come by.

To land a drone in a narrow strip needs experience and skill, a few days of training may not sufficient for many student pilots. From our experience, much damage suffered by the drone is due to less than ideal landings in un-prepared areas. Sometimes the damage may not be easily noticeable and eventually cause the system to fail during mission flight, which usually results in the loss of the drone.

The VTOL capability of the new drone eliminates the need of the pilot to perform the take-off and landing manually. It can easily take-off and land vertically in full auto mode, without any intervention from the pilot in a 10 meter radius open space. The pilot also has the option to control the take-off and landing in manual mode if the area is more challenging. With a proper mission plan, the drone can execute the flight mission in full auto mode, which greatly reduces the workload of the pilot and minimize human error especially during the landing phase.

The total range is about 70 KM depending on the local conditions and payload weight. We have tested the system for 68 KM total distance while carrying a Sony RX 100 III camera with 25% power reserve at the end of the flight. The payload compartment is large enough to carry a Sony A7 full frame camera with maximum weight of 500 grams. It is also easy to change the mounting to carry other sensor such as Micasense Red Edge, Parrot Sequoia or FLIR Vue Pro.

Wings panels and lifting motor system are modular and require no tools to install and dismantle. The whole drone can be packed in a 34cm x 34cm x 125cm custom carry case making field operation and transportation easy.

This full auto long range VTOL could be the solution for researchers who need high resolution aerial image for large area without going through the pilot training program. The cost is of the drone is higher compared to our conventional fixed wing drone but considering the VTOL features and also the cost to attain our pilot training program, this may be one of the most cost-effective drone system available. For more information, please contact