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Largest available civilian drone is the first of its kind in North America.
North America’s first unmanned gas-powered helicopter has arrived at its new home at SAIT’s Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems (CIRUS) in the Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) department. The SDO 50 V2 drone platform — developed by SwissDrones Operating AG and pictured above in the Swiss Alps — will give CIRUS more capacity to work with large, complex sensors.
“The SDO 50 V2 will be our main UAV platform for research projects such as landmine detection, geo-modelling and airborne ground penetrating radar, as well as search and rescue in varieties of terrains and landscapes,” says CIRUS Principal Investigator Shahab Moeini.
Advanced training for students
In July 2019, Moeini and three SAIT students spent two weeks in Switzerland taking advanced training to pilot this 45-kilogram (kg) helicopter, the largest available civilian drone.
“It combines the endurance and speed of a fixed-wing platform with the maneuverability of a multi-rotor, can carry a payload of 45 kilograms and operates in wind speeds up to 45 kilometres per hour,” Moeini says. “Its high endurance, maneuverability and payload will open a new horizon of applied research for our CIRUS team.”