Additional Payload Capacity and Modular Mission Capabilities
Building on the success of its NX70 drone, which is already in service with the French armed forces and the Marseille fire service, Novadem will unveil the NX160 at SOFINS next week.
Capable of a wider range of missions, thanks to its ‘mission pod’ concept and a 2kg payload, the NX160 broadens the scope of the company’s NX range and paves the way for integration of specialised sensors. This is already being realised through a partnership with Proengin, offering the company’s AP4C+ for a unique, compact and efficient airborne chemical threat detection solution, on which the companies have been collaborating for several months.
“We were requested by users and some of our industrial partners for specific missions that the NX70 could not meet due to its carrying capacity. A solution had to be found to complete the ope of use of our solutions. We heard the needs and developed in record time a new carrier that takes over 80% of the NX70 solution. It shares the same ground station, the same data links, the same on-board avionics, which has enabled us to considerably reduce the development cycle,” explained Novadem CEO, Pascal Zunino.
The NX160 complements the NX range for missions where a large payload is required. This is particularly the case for carrying specialised equipment, such as a for detecting radiological or chemical threats, a LIDAR or photogrammetry sensor for terrain surveying, a long-range observation turret, or a load release device. With a total takeoff weight of 6-8kg, depending on payload, the NX160 offers an endurance of around one hour. Its mobility is evidenced by the fact that an entire system – ground station, payload, battery) constitutes a single backpack load.
Its commonality with the NX70 reduces training time necessary for current users, who will be able to switch from the NX70 drone to the NX160 using the same ground station, paving the way for missions in which the NX70 intelligence micro-drone and the NX160 multi-mission mini-drone can coexist. Novadem is thus pursuing its vision for interoperable and rationalised solutions, to ensure high capacity consistency, a core expectation of current users.
The NX160’s mission pods are interchangeable in the field, without tools. They enhance the drone’s versatility, covering maximum operational needs through the same system. The drone is also equipped with an ASIO 155 bi-spectral observation turret, the most efficient in its category, a product also co-developed by Novadem and partner INPIXAL. Finally, a release hook mission pod allows for carrying a load of up to 2kg, such as a survival kit, buoy, smoke, etc.