As drones continue to appeal to wider sectors – police, scientific research, energy companies and firefighters – many new UAV customers soon face a common industry challenge: Keeping drones in the air longer with limited power options.
A Singapore firm may have unpacked a fresh solution to this not-quite-age-old problem with Dronebox. Developed by H3 Dynamics, the system is described as “a grid independent battery charging and data communication shelter for on-demand sensing drones routine inspections in the field, [that provides] a highly reactive 24/7 perimeter and border security solution.”
In short, Dronebox is a solar-powered landing station for UAVs that combines the power of the sun with fuel cells the company says can last months or years, providing “UAV battery charging capacity for a lifetime.”
“We have gone beyond the fixed sensor,” H3 Dynamics founder Taras Wankewycz stated in media reports. “We now have a sensor that has come out of its enclosure and moves.”
When a drone leaves the Dronebox on a mission, solar panels charge batteries that immediately replenish the returning aircraft and also allows for simple collection of any data the drone may have gathered to be sent back to the user (using Wi-Fi or a satellite connection).
Dronebox-connected UAVs can operate in tethered mode — providing longer operation — or untethered with wireless charging.
“As a network, Dronebox technology can increase their effectiveness and mission times using collaborative technologies,” an H3 spokesperson said. “Such deployments could offer first responder support in crisis events before sending humans into dangerous environments, such as nuclear power plant meltdowns, chemical spills, or natural disasters.”
Wankewycz says Dronebox can be deployed in multiple environments – including remote sites that are not feasible to staff on a 24/7 basis.
“For us the Dronebox is kind of like the Mars Rover but on earth, that goes to very remote areas where we don’t want to go, but inspects assets or inspect borders or national security related issues using this device,” he said at the recent Singapore Air Show.
“By pre-deploying Dronebox systems at the right locations, travel to remote areas is no longer required, charging– handling of drone batteries is eliminated and sensor data is simply sent through a network for easy access and processing.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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