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Video - First explosive environments certified drone

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Developed in eighteen months by the start-up, Xamen Technologies, based in Pau (south western France), this drone is unique. Called the LE4-8X, it is the first UAV capable of being used in potentially explosive environments, and has just been ATEX certified (reversed French acronym : EXplosive ATmospheres). With this certification, the six kilogramme (13 lb.) machine can be operated as part of maintenance or diagnostic operations on oil platforms, chemical processing plants or oil refineries.

Philippe Barthomeuf, Chief Executive Officer, Xamen Technologies : « To enter potentially explosive areas, you first have to make sure that the machine does not produce sparks. Therefore to be able to do this, for instance in the event of an electrical part being cut through, the machine’s entire electrical and electronic parts are protected by the use of special wiring and materials to avoid any sparks or short circuit being produced. »

The drone is also equipped with an impact protective cage for the battery, eight wooden, propellers, so as not become charged with static electricity, as can happen with those in carbon, and the operating machine’s temperature does not exceed 100° C. (212° F). That is all we know for now, since, because it has only just been put onto the market, this first ATEX drone’s manufacturing secrets are kept well under wraps.

Philippe Barthomeuf, Chief Executive Officer, XAMEN Technologies : « The commercial model is either, to sell the machine, or a service. Where we have a customer who requests an inspection of their ATEX infrastructure, we'll rent them the machine with two radio control pilots - ATEX trained - which is absolutely imperative. »

Expect to pay about 10,000 euros per day of service, or around 100,000 euros to puchase. Still, for its users, this drone should reduce maintenance costs by ten. In early May, Xamen Technologies will present their product at the Atlanta AUVSI drone dedicated show in the US. A major US oil company, who intends testing the drone this summer in the UK, has already signed.

Your comments
  • Frank Hidalgo
    Posté the 09/01/2015 10:05 am

    My company is interested to market and sell your product to the Oil and Gas Industry in our country,The Philippines.Please direct us to the right party in your organization to establish our collaboration.
    Thanking you for your cooperation in advance.

    Notify an abuse Answer

    • Thierry BLEAU
      Posté the 09/01/2015 5:32 pm

      Dear mister Hidalgo,
      You can contact me by email : t.bleau@xamen.fr
      Best regards

      Notify an abuse

  • Nils Bleshoy
    Posté the 03/09/2016 5:08 pm

    This is really interesting. Do you mind sharing the certificate? I'm really curious about the conditions for safe use, especially since this is such a mobile piece of technology.

    The biggest question or concern I have is, how is it controlled that it won't enter a Zone 1? Does it solely rely on the operator?
    What about loss of power when in a certain height? The impact energy onto other equipment could create a spark.

    Was the maximum flight height use for a resistance to impact test?

    Notify an abuse Answer

  • Nico
    Posté the 01/04/2017 1:08 pm

    This is really interesting. Do you mind sharing the certificate? I'm really curious about the conditions for safe use, especially since this is such a mobile piece of technology.

    What about loss of power when in a certain height? The impact energy onto other equipment could create a spark.

    Was the maximum flight height use for a resistance to impact test?

    Regards
    Rune Nicolaisen

    Notify an abuse Answer

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