Recently we had a close encounter with our nations biggest bird, the Wedge-tail eagle. Sensefly, the manufacturer of our main work horse drone, the eBee, thought there was a story in it. Here is the story.
This week saw us performing a number of aerial mapping missions in the Gloucester NSW countryside for the council. Simply beautiful rolling hills and tons of great little water crossings. The primary purpose was to create 3D models of each roadside quarry for the drafting of mine plans. These mine plans will provide a safe and efficient utilisation of the resources.
But the results from using RPAS Australia UAV mapping does not stop there. The quarry managers will have access to numerous survey accurate measuring tools in their hands where ever and whenever they like provided they have an internet connection. That's because the geospatial data is in the cloud not stuck on a desk back in the office. So now instead of running a tape out on the dusty or muddy ground they can run a mouse from rock to rock (high res imagery), calculate volumes, turning circles, see contours and so on.
What RPAS Australia offers to councils is fast, cheap, accurate and best of all easy for the person in the ute to use.
This week four skids made their own flight (Australia Post) to Western Australia. All went to Arvista, arguably the first UAV operator in Australia to use the Sensefly ebee. With four in the fleet, Arvista certainly give their fleet a work out daily in one of the harshest terrains on the planet with some of the oldest and hardest rocks found on the earths surface.
The PETG 0.5mm thick plastic vacuum formed skids are tougher than the original (0.3mm) polyester ones and curl up the nose of the craft and into the camera bay. This means better protection and less plastic edges snagging on landing.
The only downside is that PETG comes in clear not black like the original, but hey! At AU$35 (+GST & PH) that's forgivable compared to the AU$150 original plastic trim.
Let us help you protect your investment.
We also do the Skywalker 1680 & Skywalker X8
The Chaffey Dam is a project of WaterNSW. It is located in the Upper Hunter NSW near Nundle.
Our UAV's / RPA's tend to be light weight construction, often EPO foam. As resilient as this is, landing on quarry floors and thistle paddocks do take their toll. With the Australian dollar so low two things (many others) are happening.
On the positive side our investment in each UAV is depreciating slower and in some cases appreciating. We bought an eBee 12 months ago for $35,000, to buy one now it is $42,000!
On the downside however the bits n bobs such as battery and camera covers, belly skids and wings have all gone up in price. Take the eBee battery & camera hatch covers for instance, some months ago these were $150 each to replace! a tiny block of foam!
The belly skid is where the full brunt of landing is felt and fortunately the new model eBee's come with a skid plate. This however quickly becomes dinged, picked and folded. All reducing airflow and efficiency in the air. We have identified the OEM skid doesn't go far enough so we have developed one that slips over the nose and all the way to the business end. Furthermore it molds into those camera and opticflow ports where sand likes to catch. The molds are ready and just waiting on plastic supplies. We have belly skids for the eBee, Skywalker 1900 and the Skywalker x-8.
Now I know many cringe at seeing $40k hit the deck and therefore try catching it head-on. We too practiced this but noticed we were simply shifting the wear and tear. Catching with both hands on the leading edges transfers/compresses the rear spar in and loosens the front edge. Each wing spar has a small magnet that must contact inside the fuselage. If it doesn't a warning message "Wing not detected" occurs (takeoff disallowed). We have developed a small, portable and effective catch net.
We will post a free quick instruction and photo list of how to make one of these in coming days. It works great and most of all it is so gentle on the aircraft. Anyone that has done the hand catching knows it can be hit and miss whether the UAV will drop short, glide over just out of reach or be so offtrack that you sprint to it all the while shedding role equipment along the way, jumping logs and tall buildings only to miss the catch by inches. With the catch net it is like having a base ballers mit. So much extra reach!
Next week we will begin making plastic vacuum formed covers. If you are interested in these let us know.
The calm before the storm. The Henry Team worked feverishly to remove these imposing monsters from the residents backyards. Great Lakes Cranes did the heavy lifting with their 30 ton crane.
Absolutely perfect day! Both for ocean swimming and RPA flying. Crystal water and barely a breeze.
The following White Paper is an interesting read for those asking the important question of 'accuracy'. If you lack the patience then skip to the conclusion.
After years of building and flying our own multirotors, we have purchased a new multirotor (VTOL). Whilst this is down 'spec'ed' from what we are used to, it is super portable. Great for oblique stills and HD web vision of your organisation or project.