French drone manufacturer Elistair, a leading provider of tethered surveillance drone solutions, has announced their newest offering: the Orion 2 tethered unmanned system for military, government, and industry users. “Unlike other multi-rotor drones, the Orion 2 hexacopter delivers round-the-clock surveillance for up to 24 hours at a time, making it a true persistent surveillance platform,” says a company press release.
“Small, unmanned multi-rotor systems are great if you want a hover-and-stare capability, but they’re also notoriously short on battery life,” said Timothée Penet, CTO and co-founder of Elistair. “Powered tethering stations, like our Safe 2 and Ligh-T 4, offer a solution by increasing a platform’s time in the air—and that’s great for many missions. But what if you need to be on station for a whole day?”
The Orion 2 is a rugged, lightweight system that can stand up to a wide variety of environments. Elistair describes Orion 2 as a “quick-deploy system” – utilizing an automated push-button takeoff and landing. Most importantly, Orion 2 can stay in the air for 24 hours. “…something that, previously, could only be done by a helium-filled tactical aerostat, which was a much larger platform and came with a very complicated logistical train,” says Elistair.
“We developed redundancies at every level to ensure that the Orion 2 could stay up that long,” said Pierre- Moana Levesque, R&D Director at Elistair. “For example, we made it IP54; we optimized the lifespan of the components, including the motors; and we added a safety battery that could recharge in the air.”
The new Orion 2 is the newest advancement on the original Orion drone, which has already earned a global customer base. “The Orion helped secure the Ryder Cup in September 2018, flying over crowds of 300,000 attendees for 8 to 11 hours a day, and has been employed by the French police, British military, and Singaporean government,” says the press release.
Orion 2 features a micro-tether of 330 feet (100 meters), allowing it to fly at a higher altitude than the Orion. In addition to surveillance, Orion 2 can carry up to 2kg (4.5 pounds) of payload: “…it can serve simultaneously as an ISR and telecom platform,” the company explains. “The Orion 2 can also stream georeferenced electro-optical and infrared imagery at the same time, and it can deploy 4G/5G communications nodes thanks to a new fiber optics cable option.”
“The Orion 2 tethered drone is a clear advance over the very capable Orion in terms of persistence, logistical footprint, and data control. We are thrilled by this product launch,” said Guilhem de Marliave, CEO and co-founder of Elistair.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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