FlyFocus uses Vicor DC/DC converter for heavier payloads in CableGuard UAV
A detachable tethered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by FlyFocus is for mission critical surveillance. When tethered, it hovers at an altitude of 70m for extended periods. It can also be used in remote command more, when the tether cable is detached, allowing the UAV to track a suspicious object for up to 30 minutes.
The UAV includes a Vicor DCM DC/DC converter to enable heavier payloads or longer flight times.
At 5kW, the UAV is rated as the most powerful tethered type available on the market today. Vicor’s isolated, regulated DCM DC/DC converters are used in the power delivery network from the tether cable to the drone’s motors and electronics.
In tethered mode, the UAV’s electric motors and on-board electronics are powered via the tether cable, which delivers 400V DC from the ground station. This lets it perform surveillance virtually indefinitely, with only occasional landings for maintenance inspections. When the UAV untethers for free flight, on-board batteries seamlessly take over the vehicle’s power supply, allowing up to 30 minutes’ flight with a single daylight camera payload, and 20 minutes with a dual thermal plus daylight camera set-up.
FlyFocus uses the high 5kW of power available through the tether cable. The drone’s eight motors can be safely landed even with two motors disabled, says FlyFocus. The UAV’s two cameras are a full HD type with 10x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom, and a night vision IR 640p camera with 4x digital zoom.
Vicor isolated, regulated DC/DC converters can buck the tether cable’s 400V DC down to the UAV’s operating voltages; accommodating this high voltage reduces cable current and I2R losses. It also allows a much smaller, lighter cable to be used.
The increased power capacity allows FlyFocus to use heavy cooled thermal cameras, or cameras with enhanced zoom and also allow additional payload modules.
According to Vicor, the DCMs’ power density allows eight 600W modules to be packed into a space-limited pod under the UAV, with just two heatsinks or fans.