BVLOS drone inspection operation – the unmanned aerial advantage
Railways, roads, pipelines, power lines – all these elements of critical utilities and infrastructure, and many more, need to be maintained to keep things running smoothly and avoid potential catastrophe. Cracks, corrosion, wear and tear and vegetation encroachment are just a few of the issues that companies need to keep on top of to minimise downtime and accidents and maximise profitability. Traditional methods of inspection, even those involving helicopters and manned aircraft that can access hard-to-reach areas, have their downsides, many of which can be solved by the use of drones.
The unmanned aerial advantage
Perhaps the most important factor that drones bring to the table for utilities and infrastructure inspection is enhanced safety. The costs of catastrophic accidents are not only human – settlements, increases in insurance premiums, and loss of reputation could all be disastrous for a utility company.
Drones can help cut costs across the board, with the average cost of operation far undercutting helicopters and manned aircraft. In addition to reducing required manpower, aerial inspection also often does away with the need to shut operations down, and this is especially vital for oil and gas where a day’s downtime can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Data collection via unmanned aircraft far outclasses what is possible with manual methods. Drones can get closer to towers, power lines, and other structures than manned aircraft can, allowing them to capture more precise data and higher-resolution details.
The gateway to seamless BVLOS inspection
Drones have already entered widespread use and changed the face of the inspection industry, improving operations by leaps and bounds. The next horizon is to massively increase profitability by moving from small numbers of pilot-based drone operations to entire fleets of autonomous UAVs that can operate with unlimited range, with the ability to easily scale up your business as the market demands. But is there something that stops the industry from taking it to the next level?
Many countries and jurisdictions currently restrict drone operations to visual line-of-sight (VLOS), meaning that the aircraft can travel at most 500 meters from the pilot under standard aviation regulations. Infrastructure and utilities can span vast distances – pipelines can stretch across entire countries, and the United States contains millions of miles of power lines. Another rapidly expanding field within the inspection industry is solar farms, which are only set to increase in size as the demand for renewable energy climbs all around the world.
BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flights make the inspection of such colossal distances and areas economically feasible, as drones can travel further in one flight, doing away with the need to constantly relocate the inspection team and reducing downtime for the drone. The amount of data that can be collected in one day is significantly increased, and so is efficiency as a result.
BVLOS drone operations are currently incredibly difficult to gain authorization for – the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has to date granted only a tiny percentage of the thousands of requests it has received. So if you are aiming to push the state of the art with BVLOS inspection operations, what can you do to maximize your chances of approval, easing the route to certification and thus minimizing your time to market?
Your best chance for the road ahead
One of the key challenges to overcome when creating a BVLOS platform that will satisfy regulators is connectivity. Aviation bodies such as the FAA need assurance that your solution includes a failsafe communications system, especially if you are operating in populated areas, or busy roads and industrial sites.
Infrastructure that spans great distances may pass through a variety of communications environments and networks, and not all areas will offer the same communications options. Without a system that can overcome this challenge, your ability to operate BVLOS will be limited, and so too will your chances of being certified.
Elsight’s Halo platform is a highly flexible drone communications solution that takes advantage of all available cellular and RF networks, creating a secure communications tunnel by utilizing multiple links simultaneously and seamlessly switching to the most suitable options in any environment.
Halo delivers a robust solution to the BVLOS challenges of reliable connectivity and failover protection, and provides a key piece of the puzzle for ensuring your BVLOS inspection solution gets off the ground safely, efficiently, worry-free, and with full compliance.
Drone Source EP. 2: Interview with George Kirov of Dynamic Strategies & Concepts
On the May 6th, 2021 edition of Drone Source, host Asaf Raz spoke with George Kirov, the Managing Director of Dynamic Strategies & Concepts and…Learn More
Drone Source Ep. 1: Interview with Yoav Amitai of Elsight – Connectivity, BVLOS, Regulation, Scale & Growth
On the February 13th, 2021 episode of Drone Source, host Asaf Raz spoke with Yoav Amitai, Chief Executive Officer for Elsight. Prior to his work…Learn More
The Future of Connectivity: Scaling BVLOS UAV Operations
The global beyond-line-of-sight (BVLOS) unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) market worth $18.87 billion in 2018 is projected to climb to a value of $34 billion by 2029. This…Learn More
Expanding boundaries with BVLOS mapping and surveying
Expanding boundaries with BVLOS mapping and surveying The geospatial industry has been one of the most widespread and enthusiastic adopters of drone technology. When you…Learn More
BVLOS SWaP Mini-Guide: Part 2 – Take advantage of cloud computing
In Part 1 of this article, we revealed that modern connectivity technologies have the potential to unlock and revolutionize Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)…Learn More
BVLOS SWaP Mini-Guide: Part 1 – balancing between payload and airtime
It’s time to dominate the BVLOS market As the drone industry moves closer to widespread Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) adoption, a whole new set…Learn More
Scaling commercial BVLOS drone delivery – Is it all about UAV regulation?
Paving the way for Commercial-scale BVLOS drone deliveries It sounds like the ultimate in modern convenience, a science-fiction concept come to life – BVLOS…Learn More
Part 3: The $45 Billion Dollar commercial UAV BVLOS solution
Part 3: The $45 Billion Dollar commercial UAV BVLOS solution …if your Connectivity solution can pass Regulatory approval The commercial UAV BVLOS solution……Learn More
Realizing profitability with BVLOS UAV precision agriculture
Realizing profitability with BVLOS UAV precision agriculture As an alternative to expensive manned aviation or limited ground-based observation, drones have the potential of realizing…Learn More
Part 2: The $45 Billion Dollar commercial UAV BVLOS challenge
Part 2: The $45 Billion Dollar commercial UAV BVLOS challenge …if your Connectivity solution can pass Regulatory approval The commercial UAV BVLOS challenge……Learn More
Case Study: Gadfin Aerologistics systems - A success story
Learn more about how Elsight's drone enabling technology helped Gadfin achieve their business goalsDownload now
Data Sheet: Halo BVLOS Drone Technology
Connect - Beyond the line of sight, Get Certified, and ScaleDownload now
Ebook: BVLOS across the drone industry
The most informative BVLOS vertical ebook that will help you go from limited LOS to exponential business growthDownload now
Guidebook: The Ultimate Guide for Drone Connectivity 2021
All the secrets you need to know about drone connectivity for any kind of operationsDownload now
Data Sheet: Halo Makes Agriculture Smart
Connecting farmers to the field,
On-Demand Webinar: Scaling BVLOS UAV operations
Learn about Scaling BVLOS autonomous UAV operations - The new era of UASDownload now