To enable longer flight sessions with its professional Airpeak S1 "Alpha" drone, Sony is introducing a battery station that can quickly charge up to four batteries simultaneously, as well as many other features for effective battery management. A new battery for longer flight times and a RTK (Real-time Kinematic) kit with base station are also expected to appear later this year to expand capabilities to include longer flight times at a stretch as well as precise position data.
Sony Airpeak S1 "Alpha" drone.
The Sony Airpeak S1 has been on the market for about a year and is specifically tuned to capture aerial footage with Sony Alpha cameras. The maximum flight time depends heavily on the payload (camera plus lens plus gimbal) - with a Sony Alpha 7S III including FE 24mm F1.4 GM lens and T3 gimbal, it is about minutes. However, due to the hot-swappable battery, the interruption in flight time for replacing the power supply is relatively short.
LBN-H1 battery station
The LBN-H1 battery station provides convenient storage and transport of up to ten Airpeak S1 batteries (LBP-HS1), can intelligently charge eight batteries (four batteries at a time), and discharge up to eight batteries at a time for transport or extended storage.
Two charging modes are available, a (QUICK) mode for shorter charging times that charges up to four LBP-HS1 batteries from about 20% to 90% in about 30 minutes, and the (FULL) mode that charges up to four LBP-HS1 batteries from 0% to 100% in about 55 minutes or from about 20% to 100% in about 50 minutes. A built-in fan automatically cools the batteries.
Up to eight battery packs can be discharged simultaneously, regardless of whether the battery station is switched on or off. The 50% mode is suitable for long-term storage and takes approximately 17 hours to discharge from 100% to 50%. In 25% mode for air transport, it takes approximately 27 hours to discharge from 100% to 25%.
The station also has integrated charging cables for two remote controls (RCR-VH1) and is equipped with three standard auxiliary power outlets to which a variety of accessories can be connected, such as 12 V outlets for charging mobile devices, cameras and other USB accessories.
The battery station comes in a sturdy travel case with wheels and an extendable handle. It measures approximately 553 mm × 423 mm × 258 mm (including protruding parts) and weighs approximately 15.2 kg (excluding battery pack, power cord, etc.). It is also UL62368-1 certified.
The new LBN-H1 battery station is scheduled to be available on January 19, 2023, at a suggested retail price of ,900. Pricing and availability for the new battery pack and RTK kit will be announced at a later date.