Southern Cross University approached Sphere Drones to determine an integration solution between their SPECIM Hyperspectral Camera and their Matrice 600 Pro drone. The goal – to locate sharks off the coast of northern NSW. The camera itself weighed 1.26kg and the mini computer to process the camera added 2kg to the overall weight. We were tasked with designing an integrated solution that was lightweight, functional and sturdy to meet the demanding needs of the application.
After in-house team and client consultation, it was determined that 3D printed integration parts were the most appropriate tailored and functional option. The integration of these parts represented a light-weight, robust fixture between the M600 aircraft and SPECIM hyperspectral camera.
The 3D printed solution simultaneously houses the SPECIM unit, its PC counterpart and a DC power converter. The entire enclosed system is also able to be installed or removed as a single unit.
As an added level of security, the SPECIM unit was also independently secured to the aircraft using custom steel cables. This provides the overall package additional weight-bearing capabilities and ensured that the sensor would remain attached to the M600 in a ‘worst-case’ collision scenario.
As a result of this integration, Southern Cross University are now confidently utilising the integrated M600 and SPECIM FX10 as an effective shark detection unit along the northern coast of NSW.
The lightweight 3D component printing solution has also helped achieve increased flight times and the cable lanyard system has given the clients an added level of flight security for their expensive imaging equipment.