Commercial Drone Applications Explained

Commercial Drone Services

UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as drones) are changing the way things are done in everything from the military to commercial applications. These changes are creating new opportunities for businesses and consumers in emerging markets.

Innovations propelled by drone technology has impacted media, emergency response and preparedness, and commercial industries like photography. In other words they are doing some pretty cool stuff.

CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) recently released standards for commercial drone operation which attempts to define the legal landscape for drone operation and commercial application.

In an effort to uncover more information on drone technology and applications, we interviewed several industry insiders and UAV gurus on what is in store for the technology down the road. Based on their answers, we learned that these aircraft are flexible tools that can modify how organizations operate not to mention assisting people in the development of startup companies.

Farming Applications

The farming community has benefited from technological advancements for centuries and the emergence of drones is no different. As a matter of fact, UAV industry insiders claim that agriculture is an industry ripe with opportunity for drone research and technology.

Drones can assist farmers in saving on costs of surveying failing crops before too much time has passed in addition to helping determine inventory. UAVs have also been used in mapping farm land for planting and irrigation strategies.

Although flight technology has greatly improved, the true marvel of drones is in the data-capturing sensors and software that can be installed in drones. “The UAV is just a vehicle. The important part are the sensors capturing data and software used to analyze that data. It can extrapolate that information to create useful decisions,” Opp said.

Drones can also be equipped to do common farming tasks once carried out by live pilots such as crop dusting, irrigation, and even fire suppression. On farms with livestock, drones can be used to monitor animals and even monitor animal population health.

Building and Construction

Architectural firms and contractors are also beneficiaries of drone technology. Individuals in the architecture industry can use drones to capture footage or a given property or building and render three dimensional drawings to help plan projects.

Firms can also quickly create aerial shots to create real-world concepts and also use those same mappings for business presentations and marketing purposes.

Engineering Applications

Engineering firms can also take advantage of drones for scaled projects like transmission cables, maintenance inspections, and oil pipelines among others.

“Engineering firms are a prime example of businesses where drones can have a variety of applications,” Opp said. “These businesses are involved in projects like airport planning, road construction, maintenance, and large-scale infrastructure projects. Surveying work is also a great area where drone tech can be applied to improve efficiency.”

commercial drone services
Individuals in the architecture industry can use drones to capture footage or a given property or building and render three dimensional drawings to help plan projects.

Environmental Conservation and Monitoring

Just as farmers utilise drones to keep an eye on crops, ecology professionals can leverage the tech to monitor environmental conservation. Because of the discrete and cost effective nature of UAVs, they can be used to monitor wild animal populations and remote conservation efforts where routine expeditions are too costly.

Drone technology can also offer the unique advantage of identifying species in regions that are difficult for humans to navigate.

Media Applications of Drones

Media coverage is something one dominated by professional helicopter pilots. That phenomenon has its obvious drawbacks such as equipment and manpower costs. Today, even small, local news networks can afford to get high definition video and stream it to broadcast stations in real time using inexpensive drone technology.

Contact Remote Imaging Solutions for Commercial Drone Services and Advice

Remote Imaging Solutions is a premiere commercial drone coverage provider offering a full suite of drone solutions to its customers. Whether you’re an enterprise customer with intricate commercial application needs or a small business needing simple imaging solutions, Remote Imaging Solutions can help. For more information, please contact us today.

Hull Inspection for the Royal Australian Navy

Hull Inspection for Navy Ship

Remote Imaging Solutions recently completed a significant task which involved flying a UAV inside a large holding tank onboard HMAS Sirius. This is significant as it was the first time it was conducted in Australia on a Royal Australian Navy vessel.

Navy Vessel
Large Navy Vessel hull inspections are no problem for Remote Imaging Solutions

Local Perth business, Remote Imaging Solutions, may have only been in business a year, but they are already helping the Royal Australian Navy make significant time and cost savings.

Director and Chief Pilot, Ben Durnin, says his company loves solving problems. “We come from engineering and technical backgrounds, and it is our passion to work with clients to find practical and cost-effective solutions – rather than chasing expensive time- consuming elements.

“In May 2017, we undertook an internal inspection using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) inside large fuel tanks of HMAS Sirius for the Navy as part of its rolling hull survey requirements.”

“There had been problems overseas before doing this kind of work, we looked at those and researched how we could overcome those issues. Although we knew the tanks would be clean and obstruction free, there would be no GPS signal, no reference point to hold the UAV steady – we had to fly it off the stick by sight. There were also elements of working inside a confined space on a tanker ship that made the job more unique and challenging.

“We also had to come up with a lighting solution to make sure the inspection was safe, and the inspector could see what he needed to in order to sign off the work  – otherwise he may have had to use scaffolding and rigging which wouldn’t have saved any time or money.

“It was a great success, and certainly an Australian first. Both the Navy and the Senior Surveyor from Lloyd’s Register were happy with the outcome. We need to ensure we close the loop on the technology and process, so we can use UAVs in this type of situation now we’ve proved it can work. It’s a significant milestone in Australia,” Mr Durnin said.

“The great thing about the Australian shipping community is people find out what you’re doing! BAE contacted us about a ship coming out of maintenance – they needed to check the navigation lights at night and how far the light could be seen around the ship, but there was another ship in the way. Rather than turn the ship in the wharf or move the other ship, we used our drone at night to do the visual check for them. We did the work in two hours, had it verified, and the job signed off. It wasn’t a huge leap of the technology, but a good use of it.”

Hull Inspection
The size of the internal hull made inspection a challenge. Our UAV equipment provided a complete solution.

Remote Imaging Solutions hope to grow their business further over the next two years.

“The challenge is to help Defence understand what remotely operated aerial and underwater systems can be used for, so we can help save time and money whilst reducing risk to personnel.

“Defence needs to work with people they can trust. We hold a Remote Operators Certificate through CASA and are very proud of our skillset and experience in using both UAVs and Remotely Operated Submersibles. The risks of using inexperienced or unlicensed operators can be quite high,” Mr Durnin said.

“We have experience in a large range of markets, but now we’re looking to see how we can help Defence.”