HAWKEYE have released their latest UAV designed for the agriculture market post successful trials in New Zealand.  The RQ-84Z series UAV is a laminar flow UAV designed for photogrammetry payloads and now carries TWO Sony Nex-5 series cameras with specialist lenses both imaging simultaneously for NDVI capture.  This adaptation, along with other design improvements such as RTK GPS have improved overall efficiency for agricultural market acquisition.  The ease of launch, parachute recovery,  integration with ArcGIS and robust Kevlar construction provide a commercial grade solution for Agribusiness.  Impending upgrades include  a 40 megapixel sensor upgrade in early 2014.

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  • I understand your sentiment and I think you nailed it on the industrial perspective.     When you are relying on gear to do survey grade tasks, DIY wont cut it. We do have a lot of extras as you note.

  • That makes sense.  The post didn't mention anything about a custom NEX package (aside from the lenses), and I can understand those costs being high.

    So that's still $25-30k, assuming it comes with two planes.  And even if we assume my figures are low by 50%, that's a max of $45k.  Obviously we don't really know what goes into a system like this.  But My point is that it doesn't feel like it should cost that much.  Perhaps it's just because we're approaching it from a DIY perspective rather than an industrial commercialized perspective.

  • @UAVstuff,  with all due respect those cost assessments are incorrect.  As an example - two lenses that we use are $1000 each not including filters.  We also have Nex series sensors that are stripped down to save weight  (time and labor)  A remote viewer is required to adjust camera settings prior to flight and the cameras are wired into our autopilot direct  So the sensor package is $7500 alone (USD) - to us as manufacturers.
    The RQ-84 also conducts significant surveys around the world for professional services and is not $80K.


  • My sarcasm wasn't strong enough. ;)

    An F550 can do that if someone wanted it to, for a lot less than 80K!

  • I still don't understand commercial UAS pricing.  Fiberglass airframe like that most cost $1000, $2000.  Throw in electronics and autopilot, you'd be at maybe $5000.  Add two NEX cameras, and you're at $7500.  Multiply that by two as many commercial solutions include two planes, that's $15,000.  Ground station would be another $3000.  You're looking at total cost for the whole UAS package of $18k.  

    Where is the other $62k going?  One hundred hours of labor at $500/hr?

  • @Shawn...at $80-thousand a pop, are you sure?

  • Yikes! Lookout 3DRobotics...
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