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article imageNew quadcopter flies for 2 hours on batteries

By Tim Sandle     Oct 2, 2018 in Technology
A drone startup has devised a new quadcopter which can fly for 2 hours through the use of battery cells. The re-charge time for the drone is a little under one hour, making the drone useful for frequent use.
The startup is called Impossible Aerospace and the new drone is the US-1. The flying vehicle measures 660 by 660 milliammeters (or 26 by 26 inches). The reason why the craft can achieve the longer flight time through the way the battery cells are integrated into the struts and body of the 7 kilogram craft.
Key to the aerial device are integrated battery cells (lithium ion) that are located throughout the craft’s structure. These are sufficient to provide a flight time of up to two hours. The company took a fundamentally different engineering approach: designing the aircraft around the battery.
The new drone has a maximum speed of up to 19 meters per second (which is 42 miles per hour). The test range is 75 kilometers. The maximum payload that the drone can support is 1.3 kilograms (or 2.9 pounds). The craft, which comes equipped with a GPS, is controlled by the Px4 autopilot.
One application for the quadcopter is reconnaissance, and an example playload is the Flir Duo Pro R combined thermal and visual camera. This system makes use of an encrypted video link with a video latency of 1-2 meters per second, which is sufficient for 1080 full HD video at 60 frames per second. The drone is also designed to work across a broad temperature range: Range: 0°C - 50°C (32°F - 122.0°F).
The Flir Duo Pro R system, however, is relatively heavy which decreases down the flight time to just 78 minutes. Battery life for drones is an on-going challenge for developers, as it is with other electronic devices. Most drone batteries only last for 20 minutes (and some entry level devices as low as 5 minutes), which makes the quadcopter concept with the integrated batteries quite innovative.
Impossible Aerospace, headquartered in Sunnyvale, was founded by Spencer Gore, and the company is backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, Eclipse Ventures and Airbus Ventures. The company designs and assembles all of its products in the U.S.
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