Drone On A Leash: Orion 2 Tethered Mini-Drones Can Fly 24-Hour Shifts
Electrically propelled mini-drones are increasingly popular means of obtaining a bird’s eye view of an area, or establishing communication relays in remote places. But such small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) can’t carry much in the way of batteries.
That limits most mini-drones to flying times of 20 to 30 minutes, a problem if you need that eye-in-the-sky or impromptu communications station online for long stretches of time.
Tethered drones offer a solution for tasks where endurance is important and roving over wide areas is not. Such drones are literally tied to a power station on the ground by a cable which may also double as a high-speed datalink for the drone’s sensors. As a bonus, tethered drones tend to be simpler to deploy and require less training to operate.
Static long-endurance flight is attractive to all sorts of users. Military units guarding isolated Forward Operating Bases want drones watching from on high for possible assailants, as do police and private companies providing security for large events. Film crews too appreciate cameras that can remain airborne for hours at a time. And park services, firefighters and disaster relief teams are interested in ways to establish communication links deep in wilderness or rural areas.