Drone technology is constantly evolving and drones are no longer hobbyist or fragile machines that cannot lift heavy loads. Today, drones are able to carry more than your sports action camera or digital SLR camera, they can carry more weight of several kilos. Our team collaborated with Aerdron to create HL4 Herculift, a vehicle that can support up to 12kg payload (<25kg MTOW), an essential capability for the future of delivery drone.
The drone payload
In the world of aviation, the maximum weight that a flying vehicle can carry is expressed as “payload”. This payload includes all the equipment onboard to carry out missions: sensors, cameras, radars, lasers, parcels and armament for the military drones. The elements concerning avionics (GNSS, accelerometer, gyrometer, altimeter) are excluded from this calculation, as the hardware components of each drone (chassis, rotors, propellers, batteries and ESC controllers).Drones used in a professional, industrial or in the military are particularly interested in maximizing the payload capacities of their vehicles while maintaining a comparable MTOW (Mass Take Off Weight) to increase efficiencies. Whether to install a camera on their platform, to film, inspect and monitor, or to ship sensors and other elements useful for industrial missions, these drones are able to carry impressive loads, while maintaining sufficient autonomy to perform their missions, thanks to the capacity of the lithium polymer battery, as well as the power of their propulsion and the number of these engines, or rotors.
AERDRON and DROTEK project
AERDRON specializes in materializing innovative bespoke design concepts from the conceptual phase to a working product. The team is comprised of experienced engineers that have participated in many high profile aerospace projects in the USA, EU, and globally. AERDRON is recognized and certified as an innovative technology development company by the Spanish government. They currently working on several drone technology development programs funded through the EU Commission and the Spanish government.The aim of this collaboration was to create an autonomous device with a significantly increased payload capacity that is able to facilitate multirole payload missions. Drotek team took care of the hardware and flight dynamics tuning. Drotek flight controller is the heart of the drone system; AERDRON chose to install PIXHAWK 3 PRO autopilot for flexible and powerful autonomous flight modes.