Microsoft’s bet on drone mapping

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Enterprise Drone Shipments
Enterprise Drone Shipments

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Microsoft is betting that as drones proliferate, demand for mapping services and platforms will grow; this was recently demonstrated by the tech giant’s investment in the real-time drone-mapping startup AirMap, according to The Verge.

The larger $26 million Series B funding round was completed earlier this month and included Qualcomm and Airbus.

AirMap provides software that offers drones information about other aircraft in their immediate airspace, as well as notify individual drones where other members of their fleet are in real time. Notably, AirMap also incorporates FAA No-Fly Zone updates — any company using its services can steer its drone fleets away from prohibited airspace.

Microsoft is likely assuming that its large enterprise clients will soon integrate drones into their operations and therefore need mapping services. Microsoft’s primary revenue stream comes from software contracts with large enterprises in sectors ranging from energy to healthcare and agriculture. If these clients soon integrate drones into their operations, demand for drone-mapping services for their drone fleets will likely grow. For example, if a manufacturing client of Microsoft’s Azure cloud services integrates drones into its operations for inspection purposes, it would also benefit from a solution like the one offered by AirMap.

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AirMap and senseFly partner to advance safety for commercial drones

New partnership delivers robust airspace intelligence and unmanned traffic management solutions to senseFly’s largely autonomous commercial drones

AirMap, the world’s leading airspace management platform for drones, and senseFly, the world’s first choice producer of mapping drones, today announced that they have partnered to deliver AirMap’s airspace services to senseFly’s eBee fixed wing drones and albris quadcopter.

AirMap’s airspace platform services will be directly integrated into senseFly’s eMotion flight and data management software, providing professional operators and their drones with critical information and tools to enable safe missions. Continue reading

senseFly receives first Swiss approval for anytime BVLOS operations

senseFly has become the first drone operator to be granted anytime Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) authorisation in Switzerland.

senseFly has become the first drone operator to be granted anytime Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) authorisation in Switzerland. The country’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) has granted senseFly permission to fly any of its eBee-branded mapping solutions beyond the visual sight of a drone’s operator, using observers, without the need to set-up a flight operation ‘Danger Area’ beforehand.

“This country-wide, anytime BVLOS authorisation is a first for Switzerland and we are delighted to be working closely with FOCA to pioneer this kind of flexible, extended use,” said Jean-Christophe Zufferey, senseFly’s CEO. “While this permission is valid only for senseFly, it opens the door for our Swiss eBee customers to apply for, and enjoy, similarly flexible flight conditions. This will, in turn, allow them to grow their businesses by taking on larger, more complex projects.” Continue reading

Agribotix™ partners with senseFly

Agribotix™ partners with senseFly to offer agricultural clients a professional-grade, end-to-end drone & data processing solution

The eBee SQ agricultural drone powered by Agribotix FarmLens gives users the unique ability to perform the full crop scouting workflow in the field: fly large areas efficiently, capture ground truthing images, make notes, and share detailed information about trouble spots with farmers from the field. FarmLens users gain valuable insights about crop conditions without having to become experts in data processing.

The eBee SQ agricultural drone powered by Agribotix FarmLens gives users the unique ability to perform the full crop scouting workflow in the field: fly large areas efficiently, capture ground truthing images, make notes, and share detailed information about trouble spots with farmers from the field. FarmLens users gain valuable insights about crop conditions without having to become experts in data processing.

By combining the eBee SQ, senseFly’s advanced, long-range agricultural drone with Agribotix’s award-winning FarmLens™ cloud processing platform, the companies have created an easy-to-use solution that is perfectly optimised for the early identification and troubleshooting of crop issues. Continue reading

senseFly to Unveil new RTK/PPK-Ready, Large Coverage Mapping Drone at INTERGEO 2016

New eBee Plus system includes: long-flying fixed-wing airframe;
photogrammetry-optimised RGB sensor; next-gen flight & data management software


Cheseaux-Lausanne, Switzerland, 5 October 2016senseFly, the world’s first choice producer of professional mapping drones, will introduce its next-generation fixed-wing system for survey-grade photogrammetric mapping, the eBee Plus, at INTERGEO 2016 on Oct. 11 in Hamburg, Germany.

“The eBee Plus system is the ultimate tool for geospatial organisations that demand photogrammetric-quality mapping,” said senseFly’s CEO, Jean-Christophe Zufferey. “With its unique upgradeable RTK/PPK functionality and flight time of almost an hour, this simple, largely automated solution is perfect for professionals working in fields such as surveying, construction and GIS who require a highly efficient method of data collection with survey-grade accuracy.”

The eBee Plus offers geospatial professionals 3 key benefits:

1.      Large coverage for optimal efficiency: the eBee Plus can map more hectares per flight than any drone in its weight class.

2.      High Precision on Demand (HPoD): the eBee Plus includes built-in RTK/PPK functionality, activated immediately or later on demand, for survey-grade accuracy that the operator controls.

3.      Project-perfect payloads: a camera is available to suit every application, including the new senseFly S.O.D.A. (supplied)—the first sensor developed specifically for
drone photogrammetry work.

A comprehensive solution
Built upon senseFly’s proven, safety-focused autopilot technology, the eBee Plus features three component parts, each developed with photogrammetric mapping in mind:

·         eBee Plus — a light yet rugged fixed-wing drone with elongated wingspan for stable, long-duration flights of close to one hour.

·         Compact senseFly S.O.D.A. sensor — senseFly’s proprietary, high-resolution RGB camera. This features a 1-inch sensor & global shutter, and is capable of capturing ultra-sharp images with a spatial resolution of 2.9 cm (flying at 122 m/400 ft AGL)

·         eMotion 3 flight & data management software — the next-generation of senseFly’s easy-to-use, feature-packed ground station software, featuring a full 3D flight environment, mission block flight planning, cloud connectivity, free updates & more

Survey grade-ready
A breakthrough innovation of the eBee Plus is High Precision on Demand (HPoD). This describes the drone’s built-in upgrade path to real-time and post-processing correction (RTK/PPK) functionality. Once activated by the user, this paid enhancement boosts the system’s achievable horizontal/vertical absolute accuracy to 3 cm/5 cm without the need for ground control points—dramatically reducing expensive, time-consuming field work.

Every eBee Plus will be supplied with four FREE weeks of RTK/PPK activation, activated on demand when the customer chooses.

Highly efficient

Designed to meet the demands of professionals whose bottom lines depend on maximising daily flight time and data collection, the eBee Plus flies for almost an hour, across a range of conditions and altitudes. Therefore, it can document 220 ha (540 ac) in a single 122 m/400 ft flight—a larger area on one battery charge than any other fixed-wing drone in its weight class. Meanwhile the system’s maximum single-charge coverage (flying significantly higher above ground level1) is 40 km2 or 15.4 mi2.

The drone’s supplied eMotion 3 software boosts an operator’s efficiency still further through the inclusion of pre-programmed mission blocks, which make planning flight lines and altitudes an automated one-click task. eMotion 3 also includes: multi-flight missions (so users need only swap the battery and hand-launch again to continue their project); multi-zone flights (for the simple mapping of complex sites); the importation of elevation models; live weather updates; automatic terrain-adapted 3D flight planning and much more.

“The eBee Plus system is a smart investment for any organisation interested in the efficient collection of its geospatial data. Plus, thanks to the system’s range of optional cameras, operators have the flexibility to tackle virtually any mapping job,” said Zufferey.

Payload flexibility

Specifically, the eBee Plus can carry the full line of senseFly fixed-wing RGB, thermal and multispectral sensors, including the recently introduced Parrot Sequoia for agricultural work and the thermoMAP for producing thermal maps. The drone’s camera bay also accepts existing eBee payloads, while the senseFly S.O.D.A. is itself backward-compatible with operators’ existing eBee and eBee RTK drones. eMotion 3, meanwhile, can also be used to manage the flights and data of all senseFly UASs2, both fixed-wing and rotary.

1 – 2,500 m (8,202 ft) AGL / 2 – except eBee SQ (eMotion Ag Supplied)

eBee Plus availability: The eBee Plus photogrammetric mapping system is available to order immediately via senseFly’s global network of distributors (

See the eBee Plus in action at InterGEO: senseFly staff will display and discuss the eBee Plus mapping system in Hall A1, Booth D1.025. senseFly will also conduct live demo flights at the Flight Zone outside the InterGEO exhibition hall on: Tues Oct 11 (14.30), Wed Oct 12 (15.30) and Thurs Oct 13 (13.30).


senseFly’s INTERGEO Presentations (forum hall A2 IAS.32): Aerial Photography podium discussion (Tuesday Oct 11, 11.30), Meet the Future of Drone Surveying (Tues Oct 11, 15.10 & Thursday Oct 13, 14.20).

FREE upcoming webinar: Drone Surveying 101 — Experienced Operators Discuss Cost, Achievable Accuracy, Workflows & more. When: Wed Nov 16, 10:00 EST/16:00 CET. Registration page: here.

Talking eBee SQ With The Team Behind senseFly’s Latest Agriculture Drone

Yesterday senseFly launched its latest fixed-wing drone (or UAV/UAS) platform for agriculture, called the eBee SQ. So what’s new about this system and what makes senseFly think it is a good fit for the professional ag market? Waypoint caught up with the team behind the drone to learn more.

Let’s start with the basics: why did senseFly develop the eBee SQ?

Matteo Triacca (Ag Product Manager): We’ve had great success with our eBee Ag drone, which the eBee SQ replaces. Customers love its simple, safe operation, the automation it offers, its durability and its full drone to tractor workflow. The eBee SQ still includes all of this, but during the eBee Ag’s time on the market, at the same time, we’ve been working increasingly closely with clients around the world, collecting their feedback on what they wanted to see in a next-generation farming UAV. So for the last year, we’ve been focused on making this happen.

Read more…

senseFly ups the agricultural ante with launch of high precision, large coverage eBee SQ drone

This new drone is built for the Parrot Sequoia multispectral camera and can cover up to
10 times more ground than small quadcopter systems

Ebee SQ

Cheseaux, Switzerland, August 31 — Swiss professional drone manufacturer, senseFly, expanded its portfolio today with the launch of the new eBee SQ fixed-wing agricultural drone. This cutting-edge unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is built for the Parrot Sequoia multispectral camera and can cover up to 10 times more ground than small quadcopter drones.

The eBee SQ will make its first public appearance tomorrow, September 1, at The Commercial UAV Show Asia in Singapore (senseFly booth: BO7).

The eBee SQ is an advanced agricultural system that takes professionals such as crop consultants, growers and researchers from drone to action, simply and efficiently. It builds on the success of senseFly’s popular eBee platform, which has recorded over 300,000 successful customer flights to date over seven continents. Continue reading

senseFly & Air Navigation Pro join forces to reduce the risk of mid-air collision

LONDON, August 18 – Professional drone maker, senseFly, has teamed up with the popular aviation navigation app, Air Navigation Pro, to launch Safer Together. This joint initiative has been designed to address one of the biggest issues facing the General Aviation (GA) and unmanned aircraft communities: the risk of mid-air collision.

Safer Together ( will make the skies a safer place by providing GA pilots and drone operators with awareness of each other’s airborne activities, giving them the knowledge they need to take any actions necessary to avoid mid-air incidents around 200 – 400 feet (60 – 120 m) above ground level, where most light-weight drones currently fly. This initiative is fully in-line with senseFly’s recent involvement in Global UTM (UAS Traffic Management) and JARUS discussions. Continue reading

Drone operators can take to the skies with new senseFly financing and insurance packages

Image result for sensefly

LONDON, August 2, 2016 – Today senseFly is enabling professional U.S. drone operators to take to the skies faster than ever before. By partnering with Ascentium Capital and Transport Risk Management, senseFly is offering new drone insurance, finance and leasing packages in the United States. With interest rates as low as 0%, these packages also include an extended warranty and scheduled maintenance for greater return on investment.

Available immediately via senseFly’s network of U.S. distribution partners, these finance and insurance options allow senseFly customers to finance or lease a professional drone—such as an eBee or albris—inclusive of extended limited warranty coverage, including scheduled maintenance, for the full term of their lease or finance agreement (up to 36 months). Customers also have the option to own the equipment at the end of the lease term. Continue reading

Skyward and senseFly Join Forces

The high-end mapping and surveying drones now come with airspace safety and operational tools

Skyward and senseFly, global leaders in the UAV industry, are partnering to deliver a custom operations management software and consulting services package for senseFly aircraft. Continue reading

Documenting a Large Dam with senseFly’s albris Inspection Drone

In our latest case study, our team put the albris inspection drone to work at the Tseuzier dam in Valais, Switzerland.

For dam infrastructure, monitoring is crucial. Operators require a simple, effective way in which to locate an area of interest on the dam’s wall and compare this to historical records—whether digital photos or annotated drawings—in order to track degradation over time. Continue reading

senseFly to bring Sequoia multispectral sensor to eBee Ag drone

Parrot’s forthcoming Sequoia multispectral sensor, due to launch in March 2016, will be immediately available for senseFly’s eBee Ag drone.

Sequoia is the smallest, lightest multispectral UAS sensor released to date. It captures images of crops across four highly defined, visible and non-visible spectral bands, plus RGB imagery. In just one flight, agronomists, crop consultants and farmers can capture all the aerial data required to monitor and respond to the health of crops throughout the growing season.

“eBee Ag users will be able to benefit immediately from Sequoia’s cutting-edge performance,” said Jean-Christophe Zufferey, CEO and co-founder of senseFly. “This will allow them to collect more actionable crop data than ever before, over much larger areas than multi-rotor drones can cover, and with the confidence that comes from using the drone rated number one in sub-2.2 lb performance*, all backed by professional senseFly support.”

Read more…

download the Sequoia leaflet

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