Klau Geomatics has partnered with a coalition of Germany RPA companies to develop the flagship Condor V8-PPK mapping drone.
Hot on the heels of DJI’s first dedicated geospatial payloads, this best-of-breed package may appeal to those that don’t want to buy into DJI’s proprietary ecosystem, but still want an integrated out-of-the-box solution.
The new drone is a joint project between German UAV firms Videographics mbH, CONDOR Multicopter & Drones GmbH and CADmium GmbH and Klau Geomatics.
Based on the CONDOR BOS-DRONE-V8 airframe, the V8-PPK features the Australian KlauPPK GNSS system and Sony RX1RII (42MP, 35mm) or Alpha 6000 (24MP, 16mm, 20mm) cameras. The camera/lens combinations are delivered pre-calibrated, with calibration provided.
Interestingly, the payloads are cradled by a two-axis gimbal, not a three-axis device — reflecting its primary purpose of mapping.
The CONDOR base drone is an octocopter with a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, featuring a Pixhawk PX4 flight controller and a battery with a dual Li-on power source, which Klau says yields flight times over 30 minutes when loaded with a Sony RX1RII and KlauPPK unit. The aircraft is controlled by a Herelink radio control system offering 2km range and integration with mission control systems, including UgCS.
The PPK unit is housed inside the aircraft’s dust- and water-protected fuselage, powered from the drone. All data are recorded onto a single memory device and the sole property of the owner, including flight logs, sensed data, and PPK data.
Klau says that upgrade options are available, including their PRO system, offering real time and near real time PPP corrections options, via the NovAtel Terrastar Pro-C correction service, which can locate the aircraft to centimetre-accuracy without range limitations.
There is an XL battery option offering up to 40 minutes’ flight time, and support for other sensing payloads on the way, including Phase One’s IR-thermal and multispectral cameras.
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