- Mark Bickel
UAV Department’s newest drone - Harris Hx8
Updated: Apr 10
SurvTech’s UAV department recently added another drone to its already impressive inventory. Due to the increase in the number of potential projects that required the use of drones not manufactured in China, paired with the end-of-life announcement of the Matrice 600 Pro from DJI, we decided that it was in our best interest to purchase another American-made drone. The UAV team conducted extensive research into the options available and narrowed it down to a couple of drones. We determined that the Harris Hx8 fit the bill for our next UAV!
Increased Flight Time means greater Coverage
The Hx8 is an impressive drone, especially for the amount of flight time that it could carry our Riegl VUX-1 LiDAR sensor. To put it in perspective, the DJI M600 was giving us roughly 15 minutes of endurance with the Riegl payload, whereas the new Harris drone nearly doubled that. This provides us with the ability to cover an area of 500 acres with the VUX utilizing a fully electric drone, which is critical in areas where noise pollution is a concern. We would prefer not to use the gas hybrid Harris H6. For example, one project we flew recently was at the Sarasota National Cemetery, which had a strict policy on noise abatement that prevented us from using our hybrid drone (anyone who has heard a Harris H6 understands this completely).
In addition to the payload capacity and reduced noise, the Hx8 works great for LiDAR. It is a very stable platform, which reduces the “fuzziness” found with some LiDAR data if there is excessive vibration. The Hx8’s coaxial design also allows for greater efficiency and payload capacity than traditional multi-rotor drones of the same size. Pair that with the ability to fold down to a compact size via collapsible booms and foldable landing gear, and the space required to transport and store the drone is considerably less than drones with fixed gear.
Stay tuned for exciting updates as we continue to grow our UAV department.
Contact our drone department to get started with your next aerial survey.