Ascent AeroSystems, a leading manufacturer of compact, all-weather, high-performance coaxial rotor platforms, has introduced a new drone designed for transporting objects of up to 5 lbs. in even exacting flight conditions.
Massachusetts-based Ascent AeroSystems revealed its new NX30 drone this week, after making initial deliveries of the craft in December to an undisclosed customer who’d contacted the company with specifications for the kind of UAV it needed. Like Ascent’s earlier Spirit, the resulting NX30 sports a compact, cylindrical form outfitted with a pair of coaxial rotors that allow it to resist even the most punishing atmospheric conditions. As such, the hauling vehicle representing what designers call a superior delivery aircraft than conventional multirotor and fixed-wing options.
The conical design of the NX30 reduces its airframe considerably compared to other UAVs, making it easier to store, launch, recover, and reset. Ascent believes those assets will become critically important as drone networks become increasingly automated.
“The NX30 is the ultimate platform for airborne material transport using UAVs,” says Ascent AeroSystems CEO Peter Fuchs. “With a demonstrated ability to carry a five-pound payload over 12 miles and back again, in any weather, with reserves, it can fly farther and carry more than other multirotors. It offers the performance and the reliability that’s needed to support complex delivery operations at scale.”
The NX30 is conceived to provide a high level of baseline operational performance that can easily be optimized for the specifics in a wide range of different delivery activities. Payload dimensions, communications equipment, and even different types of package delivery methods can be adapted to the needs of individual enterprise clients.
Providing drones that can be tailored to the varying requirements of business customers so they can remain concentrated on core aerial service operations and objectives is a major driver of Ascent’s strategy.
“A platform like the NX30 allows operators to focus their investment and their time on what they’re good at – designing and managing an efficient and reliable delivery network,” said David Moro, Ascent’s head of vehicle design. “That’s ultimately what their customers are paying for.”
Ascent was one of 11 drone manufacturers retained last October by the US government-mandated Defense Innovation Unit’s Blue sUAS 2.0 list of craft approved for use by various federal agencies.