Carbonix Drones Getting Satellite Communication Abilities

Impressive as they may be in the air, small drones, even those of the military, come with a few major disadvantages: they generally can’t stay up there for long and can’t cover great distances.
Carbonix drone 1 photo
Photo: Honeywell
Partly to blame for this is the size of these things. There isn’t much room in there to hide hardware that can give them a greater range, let alone the technology needed to make them capable of receiving orders too far away from the control station.

Take the fixed-wing drones made by Australian company Carbonix, for example. The group has two products in its portfolio so far, the Volanti and Domani. The latter is the most capable, being able to stay in the air for up to ten hours.

That period and the drone's range could be extended by an undisclosed amount after Carbonix announced it tapped American company Honeywell to deliver the 1 kg (2.2 pounds) Small UAV SATCOM system for the drones.

The technology should enable the machines to receive beyond visual line-of-sight command and control and send back real-time video streaming. Depending on the platform it is used on, the system can be installed in various locations of the drone.

The Domani is described as a vertical take-off and landing drone, capable of “executing rapid aerial surveys over very large areas and difficult terrain.” It can carry payloads of up to 5 kg (11 pounds)—these payloads can be anything from airborne LiDAR systems to a wide range of sensors.

Its native telemetry range is 40 km (25 miles), and it can fly at an altitude of up to 2,000 meters (6,561 feet). The drone is powered by four motors and a pusher engine that get their juice from lithium-ion batteries. The top speed of the thing is 86 kph (53 mph).

The Domani can fly on pre-planned routes and adjust the direction of travel in real-time.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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