A drone that can fly 10x longer than multi-rotor variants

A drone that can fly 10x longer than multi-rotor variants
While the use of drones for security purposes is becoming more and more popular, customers are yet to reach a consensus on the best UAV solutions out there. This is because, while several companies produce drones, the requirements of the security industry are unique and, often, difficult to implement. For instance, security drones should be able to carry high-quality cameras, analytic solutions, cover large areas and reach locations that are difficult for humans to access.

Among these requirements, covering large areas while flying for extended periods is crucial to the effectiveness of a security drone. Multirotor drones, while offering remarkable maneuverability and control, fails at this mostly due to battery consumption issues. So here’s a company that can offer drones that fly longer.

Event 38 Unmanned Systems, an Akron, Ohio-based company, specializes in medium-long endurance, single operator drones that don’t require any launch or recovery equipment. The company’s E384 base model can be flown for up to two hours and can carry high-resolution RGB as well as multispectral and thermal payloads. While it’s primarily built for taking still images, Event 38 is currently making a configuration with streaming video and thermal imagery for security purposes.
Jeff Taylor, President,
Event 38 Unmanned Systems

“The E384 can fly as much as 10x longer than multirotor drones, enough to cover dozens of kilometers linearly or over 1000 acres of mapping,” said Jeff Taylor, President of the company. “It is sized to gain the most performance possible without needing a launcher to get it off the ground, making it portable and easy to store.”

"It is sized to gain the most performance possible without needing a launcher to get it off the ground, making it portable and easy to store."

The model uses a Pixhawk autopilot with the company’s own version of flight and mission planning software. According to Taylor, this combination has been proven through thousands of hours of flight on the E384 in a variety of environments ranging from deserts to jungles and as high as 14,000 feet above MSL (Mean Sea Level).

The E384 was designed in response to the demand for a high-endurance airborne platform that is priced for the commercial sector as opposed to military applications. The initial prototypes were made for mapping larger areas that couldn’t effectively be mapped with a multirotor. Over the last five years, Event 38 has built on and improved its product to the point where it has been used in dozens of countries for projects as diverse as glacier monitoring, mapping monkey nests and delivering antivenom in the Amazon.

“In the near term, large scale mapping projects and high endurance applications like security, cargo delivery and research applications will drive our growth,” Taylor said. “In the long term, regulations allowing flight beyond the line of sight will allow operators to rent their drones to local clients who may have no need or ability to obtain their own drone.”

He added that with developments in artificial intelligence, there are countless potential applications in data analysis aside from improvements to flight efficiency, route planning and obstacle avoidance for the flight software. Some popular applications that are on the cusp of feasibility include counting crops for farmers, identifying people, animals and vehicles in thermal imagery and automatically detecting changes in an area. 
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