Aerospace

Video: Commercial dual-payload delivery drone launched

31 August 2021

A2Z Drone Delivery has launched a commercial unmanned aerial system (UAS) designed to deliver dual payloads per flight for residential drone delivery.

The RDSX drone contains a tethered freefall delivery system capable of delivering payloads from altitudes as high as 150 ft safely. The idea is to keep the drone’s spinning rotors away from people and property to avoid potential property damage, rotor noise and privacy concerns with low-flying UAS.

The dual payloads can weigh up to 2 kg on a round trip of up to 18 km or the RDSX can be configured with a single tether to expand its range out to 30 km. A companion app combines manual control system operations with an onboard computer and sensor array to manage the package’s controlled-freefall and gentle stop before the ground.

The drone includes a pair of cameras that allow pilots to navigate beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) and includes a downward facing lidar sensing system to stream data to the onboard firmware that controls the payload’s rapid descent and allows the pilot to visually monitor payloads through flight and delivery.

A2Z said the drone could be used for residential drone delivery trials, deployment or for energy exploration as well as shore-to-ship port delivery. Additionally, it could be used by first responders to deliver medicine or by search-and-rescue professionals deploying equipment to remote areas or collecting samples through a mining facility.

Integrated safety features in the RDSX include:

  • Onboard parachute — Limits potential damage to the drone, payloads and property below in case of complete power failure or accident.
  • Emergency payload abandonment — Allows the pilot to quickly detach the payload from the drone in case of emergencies.
  • Passive payload lock — Safeguards against payload loss or tether slippage in case.
  • Pre-flight weight check — Ensures the flight platform is not overloaded and controls payload deceleration.
  • Payload status detection — Monitors payload throughout flight and delivery.
  • Rapid descent calculation — Automatically determines when to slow the payload freefall at the proper distance from the ground.
  • Manual delivery control — Intelligent onboard systems provide safeguards while allowing pilots to manually control tethered payload delivery and retrieval.
  • Transverse tether winding — Ensures the tether is tightly woven on the reel to maximize capacity and prevent knotting.

The RDSX drone is also equipped with:

  • Ground control station
  • Quick-swap smart batteries
  • Payload delivery boxes
  • Extendable radio signal range
  • Optional open-source flight controller
  • Optional continuous-charging battery dock
  • Flight case

A2Z will showcase the RDSX at the Commercial UAV Expo, which takes place Sept. 7-9 in Las Vegas.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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