Thursday, July 8, 2021

Hybrid Powered Drone Collaboration Concentrates on Maritime Uses

Demonstration Flight This Week for New Product
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – WORLDWIDE – With drone manufacturers trying to place their products as useful commercial tools, one Galician based company has initially abandoned the idea of using its products as last minute urban delivery aids and concentrated on serving the maritime community unfettered by legislation.

Drones Maritime is the nautical project that was born from the joint venture between manufacturer Aerocamaras and marine fuel supplier Peninsula. This week the pair revealed a new and differential hybrid aircraft, the AeroHyb Hexa, at UNVEX21, the maritime-air exhibition held in Santiago de Compostela.

The demonstration craft, which has a dual fuel option giving an extended range of over 100 kilometres, is due to fly on 9 July from the port of Vigo carrying a briefcase to a freighter over a distance of more than 18 kilometres. The company says the fact that freighters more than 200 meters in length do not have to moor in port and are supplied in motion represents a potential daily saving estimated in more than $1 million for oil and gas customers.

The AeroHyb Hexa has established itself as the flagship of Aerocamaras and does not sail the seas, but the skies. This fast multirotor, which reaches 54 kilometres per hour, and can travel 3 kilometres in just 5 minutes, plays a key role in the ambitious maritime operation as it is capable of carrying shipments of up to 5 kilogrammes for 3 hours.

The device can apparently have the longest range in a niche market with 7 hours flying time due to its hybrid nature and does not need batteries or chargers when combining electricity and gasoline. The makers claim the higher speeds are accompanied by an increase in safety by being more stable, having a loading and releasing system with a 20-metre cable reel and resisting gusts of wind from up to 50 kilometres per hour, which they say makes it the perfect tool.

The AeroHyb Hexa also of course has other maritime uses we have witnessed before. Aircraft chartered to carry out inspection activities are capable of assessing the situation at a distance of more than 60 metres from the vessels. In addition, information on the status of the ship can be shared in real time through high definition images, 3D models, thermal views or comprehensive 360º services, facilitating coordination with the authorities.

Drones Maritime says its products can reach remote areas with difficult access, which can have a positive impact on security issues. The business association is also exploring the possibility that larger drones can deliver supplies, goods and parts weighing up to 200 kilogrammes, including people, while the vessel remains in transit, saving costs for shipping companies and operators.

Photo: Courtesy of Aerocamaras.