The X55 was purpose-built for demanding applications that require high reliability and all-around robustness from the system. Back in 2022, we were fortunate enough to make contact with a company who has truly put the X55 through its paces over the course of the last year.
MWH Geo-Surveys, a global geophysical services company that has been flying UAV surveys ever since 2018, began searching for a new UAV platform back in July 2022. After a thorough evaluation of all the UAV platforms in the market, they decided that the X55 was the most suitable choice to help them grow their business. The highest priorities in their decision-making process were:
Reliability and uptime
According to Marshall MacNabb, CEO of MWH Geo-Surveys, the X55 was a clear winner, so they acquired their first X55 system in August of 2022 and quickly put it to work. After multiple successful missions with the first unit, and in preparation for upcoming projects, they purchased three additional X55 aircraft for their operations.
MWH Geo-Surveys performs surveys with multiple payloads that range from a lightweight suspended magnetic sensor to a heavy multi-sensor suite that pushes the total takeoff weight up to about 54 lbs (24.5 kg). They fly in difficult environments around the world and demand the most from their equipment.
These are some of the reasons that not just any UAV is up for the job:
Large areas to cover on a single project
Mountainous terrain with many ascents and descents per mission
High elevations (for example, one survey was flown in the Chilean Andes with elevations of 3000m+)
Very close terrain-following is required
Heavy payloads are common
Extreme environments (a recent survey had the X55 performing work in the 115F+ Arizona desert heat)
Regarding the reliability of the system, MacNabb said the following:
“Over our thousands of missions and hundreds of hours of flight time, I can confidently say that MWH encountered zero days of downtime due to equipment failure. This level of reliability is remarkable and has been instrumental in allowing us to complete projects in remote locations such as the Chilean Andes, and the forests of the Ivory Coast. This level of reliability and 100% uptime is a dramatic improvement over our experiences with multiple other UAV manufacturers and has substantially improved our efficiency and project performance.”
Where other systems had fallen short, the X55 was able to successfully complete mission after mission. As of the publication date of this article, MWH Geo-Surveys has logged over 650 hours of flight time across their fleet of 4 X55 units. They have flown a combined total of nearly 18,000km and have deployed the X55 on missions in multiple countries across 3 continents.
The relationship between Arcsky and MWH Geo-Surveys has been mutually beneficial, as MWH has provided detailed feedback along the way, allowing Arcsky to continually improve the reliability, robustness, and usability of the products.
“Arcsky has been very receptive to our feedback as a customer and integrating our sensor kit and mission profiles with the aircraft has been a smooth process. I look forward to continuing our relationship with Arcsky and can confidently recommend the X55 as a heavy lift UAV for companies expecting the most from their manufacturers.”
To learn more about the work that MWH-Geo Surveys conducts, check out their website: