An Aeromapper Talon operator has flown a mission autonomously to a target located 30km away from them while maintaining at all times a strong communications and control link. This demonstrates the great potential for Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations for applications such as power line and pipeline monitoring, roadways survey, surveillance and wildlife control, and long linear missions in general. Best of all, the Aeromapper Talon costs only a fraction compared to systems with similar capabilities, traditionally 2x or 3x more expensive.
The mission was carried out in the Andes Mountains of South America. The location of the flight is situated at 2,800m above sea level and the flight was performed at a cruise altitude of 250m agl. The UAV travelled over a body of water during 50% of the flight. The drone travelled a total distance of 60km in one hour of flight, still having plenty of flight time left, thanks to its 2 hour flight endurance.
The UAV could have gone further than 30km but the operators decided to bring it back since the area in the path of the UAV was full of high peaks in excess of 3,500 m above sea level. Further missions are being planned to demonstrate the capabilities to reach 50km.
The Aeromapper 300 also uses the same long range communication system.