A drone’s time flying depends on its battery. No matter how fast a drone can fly, its reach is still limited by how long the battery lasts.
Extending the Life
Designs cropped up in the past to lengthen a drone’s flight time. These designs include stripping the drone’s interior to accommodate a larger battery size. Others try to use lasers to recharge a drone without landing. Others try and extend the life of their drones through alternative energy sources onboard, such as solar panels.
Flying Battery Drone
Another idea to increase flight time without landing to recharge may soon increase in momentum. This involves flying batteries hovering over drones to replace their hardware while still in the air. This gives the drone a fresh set of batteries without having to spend hours on the ground recharging. The question is, will this catch on?
Here, the ‘battery drone’ flies above the target and lands on an electrical contact pad built on top of the target drone. Once contact is established, the battery diverts its energy reserves to the drone in question without requiring any wires. The concept has the same premise as wirelessly charging a phone.
The idea stems from planes and jets receiving refueling mid-air. For aircrafts, a similar, smaller aircraft flies close to its target. With enough precision, the smaller aircraft would provide the target with a fresh batch of fuel source.
For drones, it is a similar design. A smaller, lighter drone carrying the battery would hover over the target drone. In theory, this recharging technique can provide the main drone with enough battery to fly almost indefinitely.
This prolonged lifespan can have a ton of benefits for almost every drone use. From delivery, monitoring, to even racing, a longer battery life can extend the drone’s flight significantly. This gives drones better range for deliveries, as well as more ground to cover while scouting.