eBee TAC – RotorDrone



Though it’d at first look be mistaken for a $100 Popwing, the eBee has been a mainstay within the aerial surveying and mapping trade for almost a decade. The flying wing is famend for its ease of use: plan a mission in your laptop computer, take it out to the sector, shake it 3 times after which toss it into the air. A traditional two-stick controller isn’t even choice with the eBee—however with a beginning value of $13,500, you’re most likely higher off letting the pc do the flying, anyway.

With its intensive observe report of success in civilian operations, eBee’s developer senseFly—acquired by AgEagle from French drone maker Parrot in 2021—determined to create a brand new model tailor-made for a gaggle of end-users with an much more pressing and compelling mission: the army.

RotorDrone - Drone News | eBee TAC

To assist shield ahead deployed army personnel, the eBee TAC incorporates encrypted communications and different information safety features to forestall it from freely giving pleasant positions, even whether it is captured by the enemy.

In fact, the tactical use of small UAS instantly conjures up photographs of a dwell video feed, revealing the dangerous guys attempting to arrange an ambush on the other facet of a hill from pleasant forces. Nevertheless, as a mapping platform, the eBee is ill-suited for that kind of real-time reconnaissance. I requested AgEagle’s regional supervisor for North America, Gary Licquia, to elucidate conops for the eBee within the battlefield context.

“What we’re doing with eBee is chopping out a step within the course of for these guys which are proper there on the vanguard,” mentioned Licquia. “Proper now, they must name in for aerial reconnaissance they usually may be fifteenth in line to get a bigger asset overhead. So, as an alternative of getting to telephone the mothership and say, ‘Hey, I would like this information,’ they’ve the drone with them to allow them to go forward and do it themselves.”

When the plane returns from a mission, the information might be rapidly downloaded and assembled right into a map utilizing frequent software program instruments akin to Pix4D React. And, the ensuing information is unclassified, so it may be freely shared throughout completely different items working within the battlespace.

The eBee TAC was developed in session with army prospects and incorporates many options that may be pointless, and even counterproductive, in a civilian platform.

“We’ve built-in some safety features: we’ve 256-bit encrypted communications, suppressed flight logs and a safe SD card, in order that if something occurs to it, the dangerous guys aren’t going to have the ability to pull any helpful information off the drone,” Licquia defined. “Additionally, we are able to fly with none radio communications in any respect. You may add the mission to the drone beforehand, so it’s saved on board, and then you definitely don’t have to speak with the drone whereas it’s performing its mission. You may fly in full blackout mode, so it’s invisible when it comes to RF alerts.”

The plane additionally incorporates the flexibility so as to add bespoke payloads which may be required by sure army purposes via an open payload design. Licquia added: “We give them the specs when it comes to the scale, the burden, the middle of gravity to allow them to go forward and combine it into the drone themselves.”

RotorDrone - Drone News | eBee TAC

The usual payload for the eBee TAC incorporates each a 20-megapixel seen mild digital camera in addition to a 640×512 thermal imaging sensor, permitting very important intelligence to be gathered day or evening.

The eBee TAC is able to flying for as much as 90 minutes, giving it the flexibility to map almost two sq. miles at a decision of 1.5 centimeters per pixel. The eBee’s common black-and-yellow trim has been modified to a speckled black-and-white floor to camouflage the plane, which is undetectable visually and acoustically past 1,000 toes.

The inventory configuration consists of an electro-optical/infrared payload incorporating a 20-megapixel seen mild digital camera in addition to 640×512 thermal imaging sensor from FLIR. Customary various payloads embrace the S.O.D.A. 3D seen mild digital camera that includes an inside roll-axis gimbal to seize each nadir and indirect imagery to reinforce the standard of three-dimensional fashions constructed utilizing photogrammetry, in addition to a 24-megapixel seen mild digital camera optimized for low-light efficiency.

Equally vital for the potential army person is the truth that the eBee TAC is permitted to be used in delicate purposes. Certainly, the eBee is the primary fixed-wing platform to be acknowledged as a Blue UAS by the Protection Innovation Unit to be used by the US Division of Protection.