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Drones Can Give Us Access to Cleaner Water Faster and at Lower Costs

Clean water is a basic necessity, but it can be a costly one for the utility companies and authorities responsible for the job. Drones can be a game-changer in this department, thanks to the simple but effective Nixie water sampling system. Nixie allows for a faster and more affordable process of testing the waters and has a variety of applications.
Nixie water sampling system by drone 6 photos
Nixie sample containerNixie sample containerNixie water sampling systemNixie water sampling systemNixie water sampling system
Water testing is usually a difficult and expensive process involving boats and special equipment. Technology hasn’t evolved that much up until now, but things are about to change. Drone specialist Reign Maker presented us with a water sample collecting system for drones, called Nixie. According to the company, the system works with the M600 and M300 RTK drones from DJI and uses a simple but efficient method.

Nixie is basically a long arm that has a locking cage on top, for the water sample container. You have to place your empty recipient in there and fly the drone over the water. The arm submerges into the water, takes a sample, and can be flown back to switch the container for an empty one. You can swap it while the drone hovers and you can do it even in windy weather, as long as the winds aren’t stronger than 18 mph (28.9 kph).

The other solution proposed by Reign Maker is an advanced sensor arm that can test up to 21 different water parameters (BOD, COD, DOC, Ammonium, Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate, Chloride, pH, refined oils, and more.) The advanced sensor is still in development.

The Nixie drone system is not autonomous, meaning it needs a pilot to fly the drone within visual line-of-sight. But even so, the solution is significantly more cost-effective, as it requires minimal personnel and resources. The Nixie water testing process is also more time-efficient than the conventional solutions, more precisely, 75 percent faster, according to the company.

Reign Maker is currently in talks with the New York Department of Environmental Protection and hopes to implement the Nixie water sampling system soon.


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