Commaris, a brand of Terrafugia, Inc., is now in a dealer partnership that will allow UAV provider Homeland Surveillance & Electronics, LLC (HSE-UAV) to sell its long-range UAV, the Seeker, for commercial use. Through the partnership, Commaris seeks to attract customers for its flagship product across a verity of industries including energy, mapping, agriculture, law enforcement, and security.
“Our go-to-market strategy is through experienced commercial UAV dealers,” Fred Bedard, Manager of Business Development for Commaris told Commercial UAV News. “HSE-UAV has about 10 years in the business, so they know the markets, and they know how to sell these commercial drones to commercial customers.”
Launched in September 2021, the Seeker is an electric, fixed-wing/VTOL hybrid aircraft capable of three or more hours of flight time without a battery change. Designed to perform commercial inspection operations such as security, surveillance, surveying, and mapping, the Seeker supports multiple payload configurations of up to 10 pounds at a top speed of more than 60 mph.
Bedard said his company is currently engaging with companies and organizations in several industries on ways to utilize the Seeker’s capabilities. “Right now, we’re working with a large company in Texas that specializes in the compression and inspection of methane pipelines,” he reported. “We think that's a real big space for us in particular because of methane and climate issues.”
Commaris is meeting with law enforcement officials in Florida to discuss ways of using the Seeker to perform surveillance and search-and-rescue missions. Bedard said the UAV’s ability to fly for three hours at up to 500 feet while carrying a high-resolution camera and remain quiet make it “an excellent surveillance” tool.
The Seeker’s capabilities may be able to help officials locate missing persons. “In Florida, with the Everglades and marshes, they have a lot of missing persons reports,” Bedard stated. “Using traditional rotorcraft, law enforcement may only have 40 minutes’ worth of flight time to conduct a search.” With the Seeker, Bedard said, enforcement officials can fly longer, faster, and higher while using sophisticated imaging equipment to find people quickly.
The Seeker is also another tool for commercial inspections of power line. Commaris is in discussions with energy companies in the northeast to use drones to find light line sag, wire and insulation breakdown, and other issues that could lead to power outages, according to Bedard.
Bedard stated that many energy companies currently use helicopters to do this work. “We can actually carry the same payload in terms of the optics and the instrumentation that a helicopter will use, but we can do it a lot, lot cheaper,” he asserted. Moreover, the drone offers a small, less noisy option for this work compared to a helicopter. “In densely populated residential areas, a lot of people don’t want helicopters flying over their houses,” Bedard said.