The flying car company Terrafugia has launched a new brand and a new drone at Commercial UAV in Las Vegas: the Commaris SEEKER.
The CommarisTM SEEKERTM is an electric fixed wing / VTOL hybrid aircraft designed for autonomous commercial flight applications.
“This UAV is designed to perform a wide variety of commercial inspections in applications such as power, gas, oil, mapping, agriculture and security,” said Kevin Colburn, President of Terrafugia and Commaris. “Our team of experienced aviation professionals has developed an extremely powerful, commercial UAV that delivers results in many situations that a typical rotorcraft or helicopter cannot even come close to.”
The Commaris SEEKER offers more than three hours of flight time with no battery changes, supports multiple payload configurations, and travels at a top speed of over 60 miles per hour. It can carry a payload of up to 10 pounds; and its modular design can be assembled and disassembled in the field in less than three minutes.
And with all electric motors with a noise signature of just 40 decibels on the ground and almost noiseless at 150 feet above sea level, the Commaris SEEKER is very, very quiet.
DRONELIFE spoke to Commaris Manager of Business Development Fred Bedard this week on the floor of the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas where the SEEKER was on display.
“This is a long-haul vehicle,” said Bedard. “This can stay in the air for more than 3 hours, which makes it perfect for inspecting power lines, pipelines, agriculture – anything that requires you to fly a long distance in one direction. You can cover about 170 miles in this time frame. “
“Rotor blades are great at hovering, great for inspection at close range – but their disadvantage is the 45 minute flight time,” Bedard emphasizes. “Your personnel deployment is expensive.”
A better comparison could be a helicopter that could cover a comparable distance. Bedard says the Commaris SEEKER offers great advantages over helicopter use, especially in an urban setting – or for applications like security that require silence.
“When you have utilities that need to be monitored in an urban setting, helicopters do the job,” Bedard said. “But they are loud: and for safety reasons they cannot get very close.”
“It does everything that a helicopter does in inspection mode – we wear the same sensors, we can fly for just as long. But we’re a lot cheaper, we’re a lot less noisy, and our carbon footprint is very, very small. ”
From the Commaris press release:
The large payload-carrying capacity of the SEEKER will be customizable with a variety of modular options, such as a camera for precision analysis in agriculture, a LiDAR system, a laser methane sensor or a corona discharge sensor, most of which have the ability to provide data to the operator in near real time to stream.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional marketplace for drone services, and a passionate observer of the emerging drone industry and regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for emerging technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.
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