Below are a few common questions we are asked, and their answers.
What is the difference between "drone", "UAV", and "UAS"?
"Drone" is the colloquial name for a "UAV", which stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. "UAS" stands for Unmanned Aerial System, which includes the UAV and all its supporting ground equipment (e.g. communications system, ground control station, etc.). Ninox Robotics technically utilises UASs, but for clarity we often refer to an entire system as a drone.
Aren't drones restricted to fly low and within sight?
Yes, but Ninox Robotics can organise with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), and above the normal 400ft above ground level limit imposed on drone operations. We can even arrange to fly at night if required. These area approvals are done on a case-by-case basis, and requires some preparation.
Why use drones instead of manned aircraft?
One benefit of using drones is the reduced cost. This is achieved through the automation of many tasks, and a smaller operational footprint. Most drones (including Ninox Robotics' drones) don't require the use of an airport or runway, and greatly reduce the risk of harm to people - especially pilots.
Manned planes or helicopters can usually fly longer distances, and faster. However, Ninox Robotics aims to keep the advantage through cost-effectiveness and scalability. A single Ninox Robotics UAS team could cover the same area that a manned aircraft would, but over a longer period, or multiple UAS teams could be deployed to achieve it even quicker.
What are the benefits of fixed-wing drones vs quadcopters?
Fixed-wing drones often have increased flight time and airspeed. As a result, they can usually cover a much larger area.
Multicopters are usually easier to launch and land, and can hover to keep something in view if required, whereas fixed-wing drones would have to circle around it.
Can I buy your drones?
Yes, but we almost always recommend you utilise our drone services instead.
This circumvents regulatory hurdles the drone owner would otherwise have to meet. Ninox Robotics is a certified drone service provider, and all our operators have undergone rigorous training and certification. This process can take years and be quite costly.
If your company or organisation is operating at a very large scale, we still recommend utilising our services for some time before considering purchasing any.
How long and how far can your drone fly?
Ninox Robotics' drones can fly for up to 4 hours, and can operate at distances exceeding 50km from the ground control station. Communications range proportionate to operating altitude, which means range will be reduced for applications that require high resolution imagery or live-video. See more about our drone's capabilities here: ninox-robotics.com/#system
What resolution is your drone imagery?
One of the most important specifications for aerial imagery is the Ground Sampling Distance (GSD). This value corresponds to how many centimetres of actual ground distance is represented in each pixels edge. For example, with imagery that is 2cm/pixel, a square meter of ground would be portrayed by 2500 pixels. This would allow you to see potholes on a road, but cracks thinner than 2cm would be hard to see.
We can collect imagery at up to 1cm/pixel, but be aware that the higher the GSD required, the lower we need to fly, and the longer it takes to cover a certain area. Thus, it is important to determine the optimal compromise between GSD and cost/km2. If you're unsure of your requirements, feel free to contact us to get some advice.
Do you provide real-time video AND mapping?
Yes, but not both at the same time.
For real-time video, live control is important. Depending on the situation, the Ninox Robotics UAS Controller can direct the camera to look in a particular direction, circle around the viewpoint, set the drone to follow an object/area, and much more. Mapping requires almost the exact opposite, where the camera must be kept as still as possible in order to provide the best result.
Are your drones armed?
No, our drones do not use guns or any other weapons.
There has been some interest in this capability for pest animal management, however there are too many unaddressed risks that would be associated.