Team SkyBison is building a quadcopter drone with a powered tether capable of unlimited flight. DJI, a leader in easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems, is sponsoring the project and providing a Matrice 100 platform to be modified.
Currently the DJI Matrice 100 drone has up to a 40 minute flight time with a replaceable dual battery configuration. Each battery takes 100 minutes to recharge. Batteries are ineffective and inefficient for long flights. If drones were not limited to this short flight time, they could be used as temporary structures. For example, drones with unlimited flight can fly and supply data service acting as a temporary cell tower without having to build a structure. For these reasons, unlimited hover would allow drones to perform tasks that were previously impossible.
DJI, the sponsoring team, has requested deliverables for the project:
- Unlimited tethered hover operation of M100 quadcopter
- Hover at least 100 feet
- Automatic tether tension system
- System has 50W buffer above peak drone power for future accessories
- Stock M100 battery must be removed