In recent years, drones have become increasingly popular across various industries, from aerial photography to agriculture and construction. Drones are an essential tool for capturing data and images that were once difficult or impossible to obtain. One of the significant limitations of drones has been their limited payload capacity. However, the Freefly Alta X drone has changed this, offering a maximum take-off weight of 35kg and a payload capacity of 15kg, which is a considerable increase compared to other drones.
At RemSense we have been using the first Freefly Alta 6 for several years, and we had built up trust in the brand. However, we realised that we needed a drone with a more substantial payload capacity that could be customised to our specific requirements. After extensive research and testing, we decided to upgrade to the Alta X.
One of the most significant advantages of the Alta X is its open-sourced nature, which means that we can use various payloads, flight batteries, and controllers to suit our needs. This feature is particularly important as other drone manufacturers like DJI lock each RPA down to typically carry out a number of tasks with DJI cameras/sensors, which is great for a specific application. However, if you need to go outside of the box, it gets challenging.
Another feature that makes the Alta X stand out is its flexibility in terms of payload. It is like a “truck” for the RPAS industry, with no limitations as to what payload it can carry (top or beneath), along with full access to settings through PX4 flight controller, Q ground control, and UGCS. The RPA can be configured and tuned to suit every application required.
The Alta X is also well-built and tested, with solid in-field testing and manufacturer support. There are RPAS that will carry far more, but that requires larger drones, bigger batteries, and all with the same flight time as the Alta X. With heavy lift drones logistics and transporting them becomes difficult requiring an enclosed trailer where the Alta X folds to a third of its extended size allowing it to be transported as oversize luggage.
Carrying payloads of 5kg will deliver a flight time of 45 minutes, which takes the capabilities beyond what is available using the DJI platforms (max current payload 3kg, DJIM300). The increased payload capacity allows us to carry larger LiDAR units offering better accuracy and coverage compared to smaller units. Mapping areas combining the Alta X and Phase One iXM 100MP camera allows for ultra-high detailed capture with less time on site.
In conclusion, the Freefly Alta X has proved to be a game-changer for us, providing increased payload capacity, flexibility, and customisation options that are not available in other drone models. We are confident that the Alta X will continue to serve us well and enable us to take on more complex projects that were once difficult or impossible to complete.