Introducing The Procyon 800E Drone Helicopter
Combining vertical takeoff capability with fast, long-range flight, and high wind tolerance in a cost-effective package. Equipped with the most full-featured, high performance and reliable open source flight control system available.
Procyon was designed with mechanical simplicity as a core tenet. One of the reasons for the popularity of multirotor drones, is their mechanical simplicity, which makes maintenance and repairs easy. NOVAerial has designed the Procyon with the same idea in mind. It has a minimum of moving parts. Not only does this make it more reliable and easy to maintain, but it is also more compact and light-weight.
One other benefit of the compactness of the powertrain unit, is that it results in very flexible payload and battery areas. While Procyon is presented here with one payload/battery arrangement, a simple light weight mount for a Sony QX1 camera for mapping, this is just one example of a system configuration. Many more options are possible. NOVAerial can work with customers to outfit the system to fly many different payloads. Camera gimbals, Lidar, Cargo, etc. all are possible.
Independent Tail Rotor Motor
Another design idea which Procyon borrows from multirotors, is the usage of individual motors per rotor, instead of using a drive-line between the main and tail rotors. This is the obvious solution for electric helicopters, as it eliminates the complicated and often unreliable drive-line to the tail rotor. No more problems with gear mesh, or belt tension due to temperature changes. Furthermore, it allows the tail boom to be mounted at a 5° angle relative the main rotor, decreasing drag during forward flight.
Single-stage Main Rotor Belt Drive
The main rotor is powered via a single stage belt-drive to the main motor. Belt drives are more durable and reliable than dry-run gears used by many other small and medium UAV helicopters. It is also much quieter. In fact, combined with the optimized rotor RPM, the Procyon makes far less noise than comparable multirotors. This makes it ideal for noise-sensitive operations such as surveillance.
3D Printed Body
NOVAerial Robotics has developed technology that allows the use of 3D printed plastic parts for the body, as well as light-duty structural parts. The 3D Printed body is not streamlined, but this is not important at the speeds typically flown by helicopter drones. The plastic body is cost-effective, light weight, and more durable than fiberglass bodies. It is also modular which make servicing and repairs easy, and finally makes the body easy to adapt as required by the end-user. Need to add a feature? It’s easy to add it in CAD, and re-print the body piece, and it will bolt right up.
Procyon is controlled by Ardupilot software, which is the most advanced, full-featured and reliable autopilot software available. The helicopter software is 90% the same as the multirotor software, meaning that helicopters benefit from all the same functionality developed for other drones. An additional benefit is that this allows an organization to combine helicopter drones in their fleet, with minimal extra training if they are already familiar with Ardupilot on other vehicle types. Diversity in equipment allows specializing different vehicle systems for different roles.