In February 2016 Skeye BV signed a two year lease agreement for two HEF-30 UAV’s. The HEF 30 is an unmanned helicopter with a two-blade single rotor. Because of its size, weight and capabilities, it creates a class on its own and brings industrial reliability into the lightweight UAV market for the very first time. Its strength lies in the fact that it weighs less than 25 kg and it will fit in any small van or estate car without any prior disassembly, whilst still being able to easily outperform all electric competitors.
It offers flight times up to 3,5 hours even when carrying modest payloads. It never needs a recharge, which means that except for some short refueling stops, the mission can always continue. The system operates fully automatic and through nearly all weather conditions. Naturally, the flight endurance of a helicopter depends on the type of mission. Moving forward at pre-defined speeds can vastly reduce fuel consumptions and increase the endurance even further. When flying at the speed for maximum endurance, the HEF 30 will fly beyond 3,5 hours with a payload of 2 kg, without refueling. In hover, it will easily fly 3 hours, whilst only using 5 liters of petrol. Of course, the HEF 30 can also fly faster. It is currently limited at 70 knots, which equals 130 km/h. Because of a safe excess of power, it can fly comparatively high and altitudes in excess of 6000 feet offer no problem for the system.
With its live HD video feed, the HEF 30 is the ideal surveillance and patrolling solution.
The HEF 30 has been designed to be completely waterproof, including all electronics and flight controls. This level of protection brought the HEF 30 up to a rating, which is comparable to the industrial IP 56 standard for environmental protection. The external flight control sensors are equipped with sump tanks to drain any ingested water. The main rotor and tail rotor blades feature extensive abrasion protected leading edges, which means that the HEF 30 can be operated through adverse weather conditions, rain, light hail and even light dust storms. The HEF 30 is truly an ALL-WEATHER machine.
All metal surfaces, including the transmission, rotor heads, flight controls and frame parts have been surface treated. All fasteners, nuts and bolts have been designed to reduce the chance of contact corrosion. All electrical connectors, seals and flight control actuators are rated for long-lasting operations in saltwater environments. All bearings are protected by rubber seals or have been replaced by industrial plastic friction bearings.
AUTOPILOT AND DATALINK
A multifunctional and clever autopilot serves as the brain of the HEF 30. It provides all automatic, stabilizing and autonomous functionalities one expects from an industrial autopilot. The HEF 30 can take-off and land fully automatic, without any pilot interference. It can safely navigate through different airspace classes via an unlimited waypoint mode. The operator can also revert to simpler modes and take direct control of the HEF 30 via a basic hover mode. Naturally, the system has been designed to be redundant and the autopilot will always continue to stabilise the HEF 30, even after multiple sensor failures.
The data link provides an encrypted IP link, which is used for the telemetry, flight controls and the payload. The system can be provided in many different frequency bands and output strengths can be tuned to local regulatory requirements. With the normal antenna system, as supplied with the HEF 30, the data link range exceeds 15 km with live streaming video. A tracking antenna can be supplied as an off-the-shelf upgrade, which easily increases the range beyond 50 km.