A drone that receives the necessary power from the ground by means of a cable can remain in the air for hours on end. This is ideal for monitoring and security applications. Drone maker Yuneec recognizes this need from the market with the new X-Stream R1 cable drone system, which is suitable for drones from the H520 series.
Yuneec’s tethered drone
There is often a need, especially among emergency services, to be able to have a camera in the air for hours. Think of the temporary protection of a large piece of territory or providing an overview during a fire. The limited flight time of a drone is a major disadvantage. This can be overcome by supplying the drone with power via a ‘tether’ (cable). An additional advantage is that the drone cannot fly away as a result of a malfunction (‘fly-away’).
A Tethered drone system consists of a number of basic elements. The ground station contains an automatically operating winch that maintains tension on the cable and facilities for the energy supply. The cable itself is thin but offers high tensile strength. Then there is another provision on the side of the drone, for the attachment of the cable and the transfer of power to the drone. The ground station is connected to the fixed electricity network and often also offers an emergency power supply.
Yuneec X-Stream R1
Yuneec’s new X-Stream R1 cable drone system consists of the above components. The winch system is equipped with a so-called sense-detect array. This ensures that the tension on the cable is not too high, to prevent the drone from being overloaded, but also not too low, to prevent the cable from hanging slack. The control system also prevents the cable from blocking during take-off.
The winch is housed in a case. This has a connection for the fixed power network (120/240v). The ground station is also equipped with an Aerial Power Supply (APS). This is to ensure that the drone can continue to operate safely in the event of a sudden power failure. This allows the connected drone to continue flying for another five minutes in order to land safely.
The system allows a maximum flight height of 50 meters. Measuring 41 x 27 x 28 cm, the new accessory is surprisingly compact and weighs approximately 8 kg. Yuneec does not specify a maximum operating time when using the X-Stream R1. The product description only says “more than 6-8 hours”.
Compatible with H520 series
The X-Stream R1 cable drone system can be used in combination with the H520 and H520E hexacopters. These drones were developed for demanding applications and can be equipped with different cameras.
The cable drone system has a recommended retail price of 13,088 euros. That does not include the drone or payloads.
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