Freefly’s Astro Prime Drone: A Game-Changer in Aerial Technology

Freefly Systems, based in Woodinville, , has introduced the Astro Prime drone, aiming to revolutionize the with its innovative design and advanced features. As detailed in a recent video, the Astro is packed with cutting-edge technology and designed for versatility across various applications.

YouTube video

Innovative Design Features

The Astro Prime stands out with its 21-inch propellers, which are larger, slower-turning, and quieter than those of typical drones. This design choice wasn't easy to implement. Freefly had to develop custom motor drive hardware capable of handling “200 amp swings from full power to full braking in 35 milliseconds.”

The drone's motor control system is equally impressive, with firmware that can “slew the motor at 200,000 RPMs per second while never losing sync and never overheating.”

Freefly's Astro Prime Drone: A Game-Changer in Aerial Technology 2

Advanced Gimbal and Camera Technology

Astro's gimbal is a feat of engineering. Freefly developed a new architecture that “shortens the load path in the gimbal, allowing for better stiffness and stabilization.” The Astro Prime model features a gimbal that can shoot at 75mm focal length and add thermal capabilities quickly.

The drone uses a LR1 sensor, which is lighter and smaller than previous models, allowing for a more compact gimbal design. This sensor can capture 61-megapixel images, which, when combined with RTK, PPK, or END TRIP technology, creates highly detailed and precise maps.

Versatility and Future-Proofing

Freefly designed the Astro Prime to be adaptable and long-lasting. They've included expansion ports in the gimbal for future sensor upgrades and multiple payload options. The drone uses smart batteries with Samsung 40T cells, which can be easily updated as battery technology advances.

Real-World Applications

The Astro is already being used by various organizations, including , the US , and the . It's also finding applications in monitoring. Importantly, the drone is NDAA compliant and Blue UAS approved, making it suitable for government use.

Freefly's Astro Prime Drone: A Game-Changer in Aerial Technology 3

Made in the USA

Freefly proudly designs, builds, and supports the Astro Prime from its headquarters in Washington state. A team of about 50 people is behind the development and production of these drones.

Freefly's Astro Prime Drone: A Game-Changer in Aerial Technology 4

DroneXL's Take

The Astro Prime drone represents a significant leap forward in . Its focus on customization, adaptability, and high-quality imaging capabilities sets it apart in an increasingly crowded market. The fact that it's designed and manufactured in the USA also adds to its appeal, especially for government and defense applications.

As we've seen with other advanced drones like the DJI Matrice 350 RTK, there's a growing demand for versatile, high-performance drones in various industries. The Astro's ability to map large areas quickly and produce high-resolution imagery could make it a valuable tool in fields like inspection, construction, and environmental monitoring.

Freefly's commitment to continuous improvement and future-proofing aligns with the rapid pace of technological advancement in the drone industry. As regulations around drone use continue to evolve, having a flexible platform like the Astro could prove invaluable for businesses and organizations looking to stay ahead of the curve.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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