Geo Week News

October 7, 2015

Topcon Debuts Rotary-Wing UAS in US

Topcon Falcon 8


At the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas, Topcon has announced the release of a new rotary-wing UAV to the US market. The Falcon 8 is the latest addition to their line of mass data solutions, and is designed for inspection and monitoring applications, as well as survey and mapping.

Dave Henderson, Topcon’s Director of Sales for Geospatial Solutions, spoke with SPAR to offer more details.

“It’s an octocopter,” he said. “What we have is eight individual rotors in a v-shape frame to create stability for the product.”

Henderson explained that the UAV, which has been available on the European market for several months, is specifically designed to offer improved stability for critical-risk project work such as inspection for infrastructure, on and off shore oil/gas and power energy such as transmission or wind turbine .

In addition to the rotor configuration and the frame design, Henderson told SPAR that the Falcon 8 improves stability by offering an autopilot safety feature with three levels of redundancy.

“We have three independent Flight controllers” he said, “each controller has three accelerometers, gyros, magnetometers and one barometer, combined with the systems GPS.” He explained that this acts as “a system of checks of balances” to provide increased protection against loss of operator control, to improve stability, and to reduce risk in high winds.

The Falcon 8 is offered in two models for different applications. The GeoEXPERT model, which is designed for surveying and mapping projects, includes an HD RGB camera payload. The InspectionPRO, which is designed for industrial inspection and monitoring applications, includes an HD RGB camera coupled with a FLIR infrared camera. Henderson explained that additional payloads are available, and all payloads are plug and play swappable with either model.

Both versions are offered with the same software package, including solutions for planning and optimizing flights, photo-tagging, and other desktop solutions.

In closing, Henderson was careful to stress the reliability of the device for critical projects in high-wind situations. “It has that stability,” he said. “It’s known for that.”

The Falcon 8 complements Topcon’s existing UAS, the fixed-wing Sirius Pro.

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