Ordinarily, after they've finished flying in a grid pattern over a given area, fixed-wing mapping drones either just perform a traditional landing on the ground, or they parachute down to it. However, what if they're being used over the water? Well, that's where Aeromao's new Aeromapper Talon Amphibious drone comes in.
Launched by hand from the shore or a boat, the fully-waterproof Talon Amphibious is able to remain airborne for up to two hours on one charge of its battery pack, flying either autonomously or by remote control. It has a control range of over 30 km (19 miles), and will automatically return to its launch point if it loses radio contact.
As it flies, it uses a downward-facing camera to capture 20-megapixel stills or 4K/30fps video of the sea/lake/coastline below. Real-time video is transmitted to the user over a distance of 15 to 20 km (9 to 12 miles), or up to 40 km (25 miles) if an optional parabolic antenna is used. Buyers may also opt for a forward-facing camera that can be remotely panned, and that can lock on items of interest.
Once the drone's aerial observation task is complete, it can autonomously perform a belly landing on the water – according to the company, it is the only such product to be able to do so. Parachute landings on dry land are also possible.
The drone itself has a 2-meter (6.6-ft) wingspan, weighs 3.6 kg (7.9 lb), has a maximum speed of over 85 km/h (53 mph) and is made from carbon fiber-reinforced EPO (expanded polyolefin) foam. It can be seen in action, in the video below.
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