UAV Propulsion Tech Post #25 – Highlights from the Commercial UAV Expo 2016

blog-post-25

I attended the Commercial UAV Expo that was held at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I arrived on OCT 31st and supported the MicroPilot booth during the Halloween reception and also supported on NOV 1st.  I also got a chance to check out the show and thought it would be good to show some of the things I saw.  The first thing I noticed that was different from the Interdrone show I attended a month previously is there were fewer hobby companies exhibiting which is to be expected since it had a “commercial” focus.  Check out their website for more info: http://www.expouav.com/

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Here is a shot of me at the MicroPilot booth.  I supported Kyle Hayes who is an engineer from MicroPilot.  We had lots of interest in our board mount, enclosed and triple redundant autopilots as the commercial guys were looking for a more reliable solution than the hobby hardware that they are currently flying.  Particularly those that have expensive air vehicles and payloads like  LiDAR.  Check out my MicroPilot page for more info: http://www.uavpropulsiontech.com/micropilot.

The one thing I noticed while walking the show is there were lots of helicopters on display.  Solutions from Pulse Aero, Leptron, Altus Intelligence, and Swiss Drones.

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Pulse Aerospace had their Vapor 55 on display with a LiDAR package.  You can find out more about their solutions by visiting: http://www.pulseaero.com/.

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Altus Intelligence out of New Zealand had their ORC4 helicopter on display.  You can find out more about Altus Intelligence by visiting their website at: https://altusintelligence.com/.

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Swiss Drones had their SDO 50V2 helicopter on display.  This was a very impressive helicopter using a gas turbine engine (for reduced vibration for enhanced sensor performance), and capable of a 50kg payload.  They can carry a multispectral camera or crop spraying system.  You can find out more by visiting: http://www.swissdrones.com/

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I neglected to get a picture at the show of the Leptron Avenger helicopter so had to grab one from their website.  They have two variants (electric and gasoline engine) providing 20 min or 2hr endurance respectively.  Payloads of EO/IR and LiDAR as well as HD video.   Check out their website for more info: http://www.leptron.com/

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Another interesting find was the “Wingcopter” hybrid UAV out of Germany.  This was on display at the MultiRotor booth  and has rotating propellers to transition from VTOL to horizontal flight.  You can find more about this solution by visiting http://www.wingcopter.com/ or http://www.multirotor.net.

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Payloads also had a good presence especially LiDAR and infrared.  Velodyne are LiDAR experts and have released three new LiDAR’s this year.  These include: Puck Hi-Res™ sensor,  VLP-16 Puck™ and the Puck LITE™.  You can find out more about Velodyne by visiting: http://velodynelidar.com/index.html

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I have read about the flying bird solution from Clear Flight Solutions but this was the first time to see it first hand.  This is a great product with flapping wings that provides a unique ISR solution that is less noticeable than a multicopter or fixed wing with electric or piston engines.  I would think this would provide some stealth capability that could be beneficial.  From what I understand they don’t sell the system but are building a global service business using these birds.  You can find out more by visiting: http://clearflightsolutions.com/.


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