September 7, 2021
Terrafugia has announced the launch of a new brand, Commaris, and the brand’s first product, the Seeker, an electric, fixed-wing vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hybrid aircraft designed for autonomous commercial aerial applications.
The Seeker includes a long-endurance capability with more than three hours of flight time without needing to change batteries, saving time and reducing costs while supporting multiple payload configurations at a top speed of over 60 mph, the company said. The UAV includes a fully composite airframe with a wingspan of 15 feet, and a payload lifting capability of up to 10 lbs. The modular design allows easy assembly and disassembly in the field in under three minutes.
“We are very excited to launch our new brand, Commaris, and its first product, the Seeker,” said Kevin Colburn, president of Terrafugia and Commaris. “This UAV is designed to perform a wide variety of commercial inspection operations in applications such as power, gas, oil, mapping, agriculture, and security. Our team of experienced aviation professionals has created an extremely capable, commercial-grade UAV that, in many situations, will deliver results that typical rotary-wing UAVs or helicopters cannot come close to providing.”
Why this matters
A long battery life for unmanned aerial vehicles can be a big help for applications that require long times in the air. Alternate approaches to UAVs via fixed-wing VTOL aircraft can be appealing as well versus quad-copter drone technologies.
The Seeker’s aerodynamic design includes powerful yet quiet electric motors to help it achieve a noise signature of only 40 decibels on the ground, and near-silence at 500 feet AGL, Commaris said. The UAV is designed for security, powerline patrols, and missions operating in noise-sensitive environments, ensuring operations can be completed quickly and quietly.
The UAV includes a large payload capacity, that can be customized with several options such as a 30x optical zoom EO/IR camera for inspection, a 120-megapixel high-resolution camera for terrain mapping and 3D modeling, a six-band multispectral camera designed for precision agricultural analysis, lidar, a laser methane sensor, and corona discharge sensor. The company said most of the sensors will feature the ability to stream data to operators in real time.
For more details on the new system, visit the Commaris website here.