Everything You Need to Know About Autel Dragonfish

Are you looking for an advanced UAV to enhance the quality and quantity of your public safety or other sUAS aerial operations? 

Our partners at Autel Robotics may have the perfect UAV for your specialized use cases. They have been on a roll in the last year. 

Sure, you’re familiar with the outstanding EVO series (if not, here's a full breakdown), but are you familiar with Autel’s Dragonfish series of UAVs?

This article discusses the different features of the Dragonfish, highlights the various use cases, and  provides you with a better understanding of what it has to offer.

Let's break it all down.

 

The Autel Dragonfish Series

 

As with the Autel EVO, you've got options with Dragonfish.

The series consists of three drone models: 

Autel Robotics' Dragonfish Standard became available in the U.S. during Q2 2021, while Dragonfish Lite and Pro were unveiled in April 2022.

The Dragonfish series offers impressive built-in tech, modeled to provide you and your team with a seamless flight navigation experience. 

Despite their similarities, these autonomous UAVs differ in flight times, payload options, and other technical specifications. 

So, which one is right for you? More on that in the next section.

 

Jon McBride of Autel joins Advexure in Autel Dragonfish training session.
Jon McBride of Autel joins Advexure in Autel Dragonfish training session.

Autel Dragonfish Features

 

The first thing that stands out about the Dragonfish is that it looks like a small airplane.

Visually, it's certainly captivating. But, what can it do?

Here is a brief run-down of its robust features.

 

 

1. VTOL capabilities

 

VTOL stands for vertical take-off and landing.

The aircraft incorporates a multi-rotor and a traditional fixed-wing system, an interesting combo that yields flight flexibility. Essentially, this provides increased flight time, easier flight navigation, and the ability to take off and land anywhere.

How convenient right? But it gets better ... we're only just getting started.

 

2. Autonomous capabilities

 

Flight autonomy is one of its other major selling points.

The fixed-wing aircraft is jam-packed with sleek technology that will significantly simplify your aerial operations. 

Some autonomous features designed to ease your operations alongside enhancing flight safety include: 

  • One-tap take-off and landing system,
  • a five-second self-checking system,
  • and the¬†ability to return to the base station or land on the spot in the event of a lost GPS signal, battery depletion, and an interruption in the communication channel between the aircraft and drone pilot.

Autonomous features are significantly improved when integrated with highly capable sensors. 

 

3. Advanced sensor capabilities

 

Its 4K sensors enable Dragonfish to bring in its A-game with an enhanced wide-angle camera, laser range finder, zoom, and thermal capabilities (640 x 512). 

 

4. Impressive flight logic, speeds, and flight time

 

Autel Dragonfish's take-off and landing process follows three systematic steps. 

First, the UAV builds its upward momentum by circling up at a point - a vital step that helps save on power.

Second, the fixed-wing surveillance drone navigates through GPS waypoints.

Third, once the set mission is complete, the aircraft gradually reduces its momentum by circling down at a point to establish a landing transition altitude. 

The maximum flight speeds are 67 miles per hour. And, it has a staggering amount of airtime - 120-minutes! 

Besides the ample flight time, the Dragonfish has various interchangeable gimbals, which we will be highlighting in the next section.

 

5. Swappable payload system

 

The first three camera payload "originals" of the Dragonfish UAV include a 4K dual-sensor with an optical zoom (20x) and a wide-angle 48-megapixel camera.

The second includes a triple-sensor camera with similar optical zoom capabilities and megapixels as in the first payload (20x optical zoom and 48-megapixel, respectively).

The third payload includes multispectral sensors that possess an RGB 48-megapixel camera and five 2-megapixel sensors.

Other sensors include the DG-Z2, DG-T3, DG-T3H, DG-L20T, DG-L50T, and other third-party payloads. Each of these payloads is suited to different Dragonfish series models. 

For instance, the Standard Dragonfish UAV has the bandwidth only to accommodate four out of the five mentioned above. They include the DG-Z2, DG-T3, DG-T3H, and DG-L20T.

The powerful DG-L50T is left out since it is specifically designed for use on Autel's Dragonfish Pro model.

 

 

6. Weather-resistant

 

Since the aircraft is built using durable materials such as carbon fiber and fiberglass, they have a considerably good weather resistance rating of IP43.

The Dragonfish series UAVs are therefore able to navigate through harsh climatic conditions with minimal interruptions. The use of quality material also enhances its longevity, and you'll surely be getting your money's worth if you invest in Autel's Dragonfish drones.

 

7. Compact with minimal setup time

 

It features a lightweight transportation case that can neatly fit in your car's trunk.

The Dragonfish also takes less than three minutes to assemble or disassemble, making it suitable in emergencies. The minimal setup time is also convenient when you and your team move from one inspection site to another. 

 

8. A GNSS base station and RTK capabilities

 

The GNSS base station is also known as the ground control station. 

Autel's base station has a 9.7" 1000 nit display for easier visibility during daytime operations. It has a pretty decent battery life which is at 4.5 hours long. All the data generated is safeguarded with an AES 256-bit encryption. 

Other aircraft features include an 18.6-mile image transmission range, ample internal storage capacity, and a powerful eight-core processor to fast-track your aerial operations.

The Dragonfish has modular accessories such as the Real-time Kinematic module (RTK), bringing centimeter-level accuracy to the table. The RTK module works with a GNSS base station to facilitate real-time corrections to location data during a given flight.

 

Autel Dragonfish Smart Controller

 

9. Advanced flight navigation software

 

Dragonfish has a powerful software known as Autel Voyager that facilitates some autonomous functions such as flight log storage, intelligent tracking, and advanced planning of your aerial operations.

 

10. Powerful AI tracking 

 

The UAV has an advanced hovering accuracy that is perfect for all your surveillance use-cases.

 

Autel Dragonfish: Use-Cases

Besides maximizing productivity during your aerial imaging operations, the robust features of Dragonfish also keep you and your team out of harm's way during high-risk operations. 

The VTOL fixed-wing drone is primarily suitable for aerial surveillance operations, and can therefore come in handy for professionals in fields such as:

  • Public safety¬†
  • Search and rescue
  • Firefighting
  • Disaster relief
  • Traffic monitoring
  • Infrastructure inspection
  • Oil inspection
  • Coastal monitoring and management

These are some use-cases where Autel's Dragonfish would flourish by improving operational efficiency and autonomy. Although it requires minimal technical know-how to operate, you'll still need a license to fly one.

You can find more on drones and law enforcement here: 

Here's Why You Need to Start a Drone Program for Your Public Safety Agency

Should You Invest in The Autel Dragonfish?

 

Autel Dragonfish might just be the perfect solution for you as an enterprise drone pilot.

Dragonfish is maintenance-free, with a powerful quad configuration and minimal noise. It's also available in three models with varying prices to enable you to choose the one that's in line with your budget.

Generally, the fixed-wing surveillance drone is easy to fly around, especially in complex environments. 

 

If you're still undecided, though, we're here to help.

At Advexure, we not only provide you with the platform, accessories, and software, but we also offer training and the necessary supportto help you make informed decisions while upgrading or onboarding drone systems in your business.

Our UAS experts are ready to help you integrate the best drone solutions into your business. 

Connect with us today to learn more about Dragonfish, or any other UAS platform, into your business!