We were recently approached by an engineering company with an interesting problem. The needed a gallon of water from the bottom of a mine pit for testing. Complicating matters, was the fact that no one had been to the bottom of the pit in over 30 years. The haul roads that would have provided access were all severely washed out and degraded making travel to the bottom of the pit unsafe. Initially, we thought it would be quite simple to send a drone to the bottom of the pit and retrieve some water using a standard bailer. We did a few tests at our test range which has a small lake, ensuring that the bailer would work without being in a pipe. After a few modifications, the drone was set. Another problem is that drones use an enormous amount of energy while climbing. On a typical mapping mission, this is usually done that the beginning of the flight, when batteries are fresh and full of power. Add additional weight, and you have a recipe for disaster. We did some additional tests to determine the maximum weight, and energy required for the trip. Additionally, just seeing the drone – a 1000′ feet down, and determining how high it is above the water surface was also a challenge. We opted to use two drones, one large one for the water sample and a smaller drone, with a high definition camera to give the pilot of the first drone clear visibility of bailer over the water. It took four trips, each lasting about 10 minutes to collect a full gallon of bright green highly alkaline mine pit water. The big bonus – the incredible video that we collected from the bottom of the pit – untouched in over 30 years.
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- The Rolls-Royce EVTOL projectRolls-Royce has unveiled a concept electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicle at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018. The design could be adapted for personal transport, public transport, logistics and military applications and is based upon technologies that already exist or are currently under development. It could take to the skies as soon as the […]Press
- UK CAA reminds drone operators of new rules from July 30th 2018 – CAP1687In the UK the Civil Aviation Authority has issued guidance that all model aircraft/drone operators should read. At the end of this month 400′ is a hard ceiling for model/RPA operations and CAP1687: Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2018 -Guidance for small unmanned aircraft users On 30 May 2018, the United Kingdom Government published an amendment […]Gary Mortimer
- MQ-9B Provisioned for GPS and Galileo Satellite Navigation SystemsIn an effort to increase flexibility for its customers throughout the world, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) announced today that MQ-9B will be able to utilize both the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and European Galileo satellite constellation for its navigation systems. The baseline MQ-9B was originally designed to include a triplex navigation system based […]Press