SOURCE Forbes Melissa Jun /Rowley Forbes women : On a 100 degree August day at Yuma Proving Grounds, an army base in Yuma, AZ, Fatema Hamdani was standing in the dry heat waiting for her baby to come home—not a human baby—her K1000ULE Unmanned Aerial System, a zero emissions drone that flies longer than any other electric aircraft in its size and weight category. That day, Fatema’s company Kraus Hamdani Aerospace celebrated a victory. After a 12-hour flight, their aircraft returned with 80% of its battery still available, meaning that it could have flown for many more hours. ForbesForbes
“This would bring its total flight time to 14 to 16 hours,” says Fatema. “The next revision of the aircraft will allow us to fly a minimum of 24 to 36 hours nonstop, which would be a game changer in the electric fixed-wing drone space. Most of our competitors boast a mere 90 minutes or a maximum of five and a half hours.”
In the year 2020—the Covid-19 era—a time when supply chains across the world have broken, and wildfires have ravaged the west coast,destroying millions of acres of land, and natural disasters are occurring at unprecedented rates, long endurance drones could address a slew of problems before they even transpire.
Recovering From Disaster & Preventing Disaster
Driven by their mission to save lives, Fatema and her cofounder, Stefan Kraus, have had their sights on long endurance airborne operations for four and a half years. The Kraus Hamadani team currently has 13 aircraft sitting in their Emeryville office that could be deployed within a few days of a natural disaster to support recovery efforts, and even prevent disasters from happening.
The recent California and Oregon wildfires are a perfect example. Through its sensor technology, the K1000ULE UAS can identify heat signature or small fires with geo-located precision.