RIDEPLAY tv drone expert Jamar Williams speaks with Fortress UAV: CEO Brendan Mills on DS30 and Doosan.
During my adventurous trek through the technical wonder world of CES I happened upon legions of fascinating and revolutionary modern machines. Being a drone enthusiast and professional myself, I was particularly blown away by the advances in drone technology; from drones capable of flying through downpours to the newest rendition of the Uber personal transportation drone.
As a business owner in the drone industry, I was particularly excited for the opportunity to meet and chat with CEO and President of Fortress Solutions, Brendon Mills, to discuss the company’s UAV services and support focus. Mills has been with Fortress Solutions since 2012, coming to them with more than 25 years experience as a serial entrepreneur, investor, and CEO in the communications and web-based technology market and has been involved in multiple venture-backed technology start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and private equity investment and portfolio companies during his career.
Fortress UAV, a subsidiary of Fortress Solutions and based in Dallas, TX, describes themselves as the one-stop drone shop. From drone purchase to repair and maintenance, their team has you covered. Their experts provide drone repair, preventative drone maintenance and drone support for clients big and small across the country. Fortress Solutions has been helping customers for more than 20 years and offers support solutions to companies worldwide.
One of the latest partnerings’ for Fortress UAV is with Korean mobile innovation company Doosan for the US release of their new, long-endurance drone, the DS30; “a drone system optimized around achieving the best fuel cell pack performance.” Mills explained that the partnership is designed to support the Doosan ecosystem, with Fortress UAV managing Doosan’s US integration and services infrastructure. This includes repairs, returns, maintenance logistics, hardware sales, tech support and technical services, just to name a few.
Mills went on to describe the DS30 aerial drone as a Doosan developed platform which is made from carbon fiber and designed to be lightweight with long endurance. What makes the DS30 different from other long endurance drones on the market is its unique approach to using hydrogen fuel cell powered technology. Hydrogen fuel cells are the newest innovation in boosting drone flight times and Mills feels confident that he and his partners are delivering the best solution, a proprietary system that allows for up to three hours of flight time.
As we chatted more, Mills got excited detailing the basic concept and science behind how their hydrogen fuel cell technology works: “Hydrogen gas passes through a passive membrane and creates electricity.” Mills goes on to describe how the reactionary process produces steady state electricity that charges an onboard battery and emits H2O. There are no moving parts in the system therefore the system generates zero noise. A very impressive feat indeed.
As for performance, Mills states “The DS30 can remain in the air for over two hours while carrying a 10 lb. payload. Recently, they (Doosan) made a 43-mile ocean crossing using the drone in the US Virgin Islands”. The platform utilizes familiar systems such as DJI A3 controller and flight systems, and is compatible with all DJI payloads including cameras and gimbal setups, for example. The platform is also designed for FAA Part 107 operation, being constructed to be under 55 lbs. with an additional 10 lbs. of payload.
As a total package provider, Fortress UAV also supplies the hydrogen gas needed to power the DS30 via their distribution arm, ReadyH2. ReadyH2 produces the small carbon fiber tanks, which are highly pressurized at 5000 lbs. per sq. inch, and handle all subsequent supply and servicing support. This approach ensures that the customer service experience can be more efficient and cost effective; something we all can appreciate.
Whether your mission is industrial surveying, inspections, or even agriculture, the DS30 seems like a drone platform that is versatile enough, built to go the distance, and can more than meet the demands of today’s top aerial drone professionals.
The DS30 is available for commercial purchase as of January 2020 and retails for $65,000 USD. For more information about the DS30 please visit DS30 : Drone