BVLOS Inspections of Solar Farms Using Modular Drone Docks in Japan
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, AfterFit is an electric power company specializing in green electricity generation, transmission, and sale. Since inception, they have been on the mission to accelerate the shift to renewable energy.
Although increasing the number of renewable energy power plants is difficult due to the land constraints, AfterFIT has been scouring Japan's landscape using satellite data, automated drones, and AI tech to find the most viable locations for renewable energy production.
With the in-house expertise to handle everything from power plant development to power supply, maintenance, and asset management, they are well-equipped to offer comprehensive solutions and provide decarbonized energy without incurring the conventional cost increases. In addition to 25 domestic bases, they have recently expanded into Vietnam and Indonesia.
The Hurdles AfterFit had to Overcome
The challenges in Japan are two-fold:
- Workforce Scarcity & Capital Intensive:
The rise in Japan's elderly population has had a significant impact on the availability of personnel across all industries. AfterFIT, for example, is experiencing a shortage of chief electrical engineers for power plant maintenance and management as it expands to a new location.
They need not only labor-saving measures to accommodate an ageing population, but they also need to invest heavily in round-trip transportation of staff members to and from the site. They also needed to ensure that two technicians are available within two hours of a mishap.Furthermore, with the end of the feed-in tariff (FIT) for photovoltaic power generation in March 2032, additional cost reductions are critical.
- Copper wire Thefts:
Thefts have become a common occurrence in Japanese power plants in recent years, with several thefts reported each year at the same power plant, resulting in significant losses.
Copper wire theft is a distinct problem that not only increases the immediate cost of the replacement but also reduces the amount of electricity generated because the time required to complete the repair or replacement increases. This necessitates countermeasures to keep them from happening.
Drones for Solar Farm Inspection: How it all started
In response to these challenges, AfterFIT began using drones in an effort to "solve green power difficulties with technology". With over 50 qualified pilots spread across 25 domestic bases, AfterFIT has been using drones for conducting surveys required for solar power plant inspection, construction, and design.
An in-house application software for autonomous navigation has also been developed to enhance productivity through AI analysis of acquired photos.
Drones helped them in reducing the time required to inspect a MW from 3 hours to less than 10 minutes.
The process became more efficient, saving time and resources, but the labour shortage remained.
Solution: Modular DiaB systems to the rescue!
As a solution to the labour shortage, companies in Japan have developed and used a dedicated drone for power plant maintenance and inspection.
The system including the charging port, costed around 10 million yen, posing a cost-effectiveness barrier to practical use.However, AfterFIT was one of the first renewable energy companies to put a modular automated drone docking station into practical use at the power plant (1,924KW) in Tochigi Prefecture
Without any operator or assistance on-site, AfterFit was able to conduct a level 3 (non-visual, no assistant) BVLOS solar panel inspection using Drones.
By utilizing commercially available off-the-shelf drones manufactured by DJI, the world's largest drone manufacturer, and a compatible Drone Nest by Heisha, AfterFIT was able to reduce the cost of equipment and operations by more than half.
With FlytNow Auto software, they were able to carry out all operations remotely from the Tokyo headquarters, which was about 200 kilometers away from Tochigi Prefecture. The intelligent & reliable precision landing module provided by the software ensured the drone landed on the docking station, every single time.
The drones could fly autonomously along a predetermined route, inspect solar panels, and live stream infrared video feed and images back to the command centre.
Each inspection takes about 20 minutes, and charging takes about 60 minutes. Its applications also include security monitoring systems, in which the drone can fly to a suspected anomaly and provide sufficient warnings to both management and any potential intruder. In addition, AfterFIT created an AI-based system in-house to generate power plant anomaly reports.
Following the completion of the demonstration experiment at the company-managed power plant, AfterFIT intends to expand its drone station operations to a non-company-managed power plant.
In addition to the labour & cost-saving, the deployment of fully automated drone docking stations has the benefit of boosting flight frequency, which saves money in the long run.While previously, solar power plants were only inspected four times a year; drone nests have, however, made it possible to inspect more frequently.
Weather events, such as typhoons or severe rain, might generate irregularities in energy production that can be discovered more quickly and efficiently.AfterFIT has been able to deliver lower-cost maintenance services of higher quality by offering these advantages to the company's whole customer base.
Drone Docking Stations are Here to Stay!
With such incredible benefits in the renewable sector, DiaB systems are unmistakably on their way to taking the world by storm. Watch this video by Yuji Kuwamizu as he walks us through NestGen’22 Keynote:
We, too, are excited to see how the integration of automation and drones will make processes, productivity, and production more efficient, faster, and larger as it pervades practically every industry!
Drones in Construction - Remote Site Inspection over 5G Network
Commercial drone history was created in the municipality of Lillestrøm, Norway when one of our partners Droneverkstedet conducted the very first remote construction site inspection over Telia’s new 5G network.Telia is the first to bring 5G in the city of Lillestrøm. This is the reason why the inspection became the first one that leveraged drones and 5G technology in that area.
The rapid rollout of 5G networks across the world is expected to power an entirely new array of commercial drone applications, thanks to lower latency, higher bandwidth, and broader coverage.
Why Use Drones for Construction Site Inspection?
A Norwegian construction company, HENT, sought to address the problems associated with the traditional inspection methods by using drones. These include:
- Quality or project managers are not always present on-site to supervise site inspections. As a workaround, video inspections are done and the footage is sent later to experts for their review. However, this approach often leads to requests for re-filming, since accurate information often fails to get captured.
- Inspections are often dangerous, especially, where people and machines are needed to climb places that are not safe or easy to reach; for example, using scaffoldings to reach the outer facades of a building.
- Manual inspections are time-consuming, subject to human errors, and increasingly expensive, due to labor costs and overhead.
How HENT Improved Their Inspection Operations Using Drones and Telia's 5G Network
HENT employed the services of one of FlytBase’s partners, Droneverkstedet, to inspect the outer facades of one of their residential projects using drones. Jørn W.
Howlid, an experienced and certified drone pilot conducted the operation successfully and live-streamed the video using the FlytNow platform over Telia's high-speed 5G network.
This aerial inspection operation proved that conducting construction site inspections using drones is a compelling choice because of the following reasons:
- During the aerial inspection, the pilot was able to share the live, high-quality video-stream from the drone with the project manager and quality manager sitting several kilometers away, in near real-time. All the stakeholders were constantly in touch so that the pilot could position the drone and its camera simultaneously. Due to the live feedback available for the pilot from the remote viewers, the inspection happened flawlessly without any re-filming thus saving a significant amount of time and money.
- The drone pilot was able to maneuver the drone safely to places of high altitude, and other dangerous places for humans, without the need for any type of lifting equipment.
- The drone’s high definition camera, coupled with FlytNow’s low latency video streaming capability over a high-speed cellular network like Telia's 5G, provided exceptional clarity to the remote viewers. The clarity in videos enabled viewers to identify items as small as the screws they had used in the past.
- The entire operation happened with far better speed and accuracy as compared to traditional, manual ways of doing site inspections.
How FlytNow Enabled a Better and Safer Site Inspection
The success of the HENT operation was made possible by the design and capabilities of the FlytNow remote drone operations platform, whose features are as follows:
- FlytNow is a cloud-based application i.e. it can be accessed from a web browser over the internet. During the site inspection, the pilot used Telia's high-speed 5G network to stream the live video directly to the viewers, this made possible because FlytNow is accessible on most popular web browsers and it uses the HTTPS protocol.
- FlytNow has its own mobile app that makes connecting to most DJI drones extremely easy. The app is called FlytOS Mobile and it integrates with a DJI drone via the RC. The app connects the drone with FlytNow and facilitates the streaming of live video and telemetry to the FlytNow dashboard. During the HENT aerial inspection, it was this app that leveraged the 5G network to stream the data. Refer to our Get Started guide to know more about the app.
- The low latency HD quality video streaming capability of FlytNow helped remote stakeholders thoroughly assess the outer facades of the building. Moreover, they also had the ability to remotely control the camera gimbal, to specifically target certain aspects of the structure for detailed inspections.
HENT, with the support of Droneverkstedet, effectively leveraged the FlytNow platform utilizing Telia’s 5G network to create a far better inspection experience than the manual alternative, with direct savings of time and costs.
Case Study: Aerial Monitoring of COVID-19 Lockdowns, across India
On 24th of March, 2020, owing to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ordered a nationwide lock-down for a period of 21 days. The order followed a 14-hour voluntary curfew on 22nd of March, where the Hon'ble Prime Minister urged the citizens of the country to observe and maintain social distancing.
How FlytNow Enabled Aerial Monitoring for Police Forces in India during COVID-19 Lockdowns
With 500 active cases by then, this decision was taken as a preventive measure to tackle the pandemic or as experts call it ‘to flatten the curve’ of the spread of novel coronavirus infections in India. The lock-down, a fallout of the measure, limited the movement of India’s 1.3 billion people.
Due to the restrictions on nearly all commercial operations, schools, colleges, and offices were quick to shut down and people were asked to carry out activities from the safety of their homes. All modes of transportation, except for emergency situations, were also brought to a staggering halt.
However, amidst this, one major challenge that the authorities faced, ever since the announcement, was to make people abide by the rules. Identifying people who violate the lockdown restrictions and instead move about freely (thus posing a threat of infection to others) became a daunting task for the police force.
Drones: India’s Ally in the Fight Against COVID-19
In order to show solidarity with this national priority and to provide the authorities with a set of extra eyes, various drone startups and hobbyists in India immediately extended their support in the fight against COVID-19. They soon formed a nationwide network and became active in almost all the states which had a relatively large number of infected cases: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Delhi NCR.
Local drone teams sprung into action to support local and state governments and to help ensure that drone flights are planned well, executed safely and logged correctly.
With help from these local teams, public safety authorities started relying on drones for aerial monitoring. Deployed in the bustling areas of the city, drones assisted police personnel to track and warn the people who violated lockdown norms. By providing situational awareness on a near real-time basis, drones enabled the police to make lockdown-related announcements and better organize their ground forces to monitor the situation in congested areas of the city.
Flattening The Curve in India
The primary objective of using drones was to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 thus flattening the curve of the infection, and apart from this, drones had to be used in a safe & secure manner without violating individual privacy.
To aid this mission, FlytBase supported the task force with its readily deployable solution, FlytNow in carrying out live, remote drone operations - from central command centers, thus involving the relevant stakeholders.
Success Story: How Drones Transformed Security & Patrols
In Gujarat, Dronelab worked alongside the state government to monitor public places and markets. Under their guidance, more than 200 drone operators were mobilized across different cities in Gujarat.
Initially following a decentralized approach, small teams operated independently in different cities and localities with the help from local police. But Dronelab soon realized that they have to move towards a centralized model since the primary objective of using these drones was to identify crowds and intimate police control rooms while the flight is still in process in order to take necessary action.
Employing the cloud-connected FlytNow solution, Dronelab, with the support from the Gujarat Police Department, established its first command center in the city of Ahmedabad. After a successful trial, the city police began using UAVs to monitor various parts of the city. FlytNow thus enabled the police to stream live multi-video feeds from all the drones to their control room thus enabling them to respond quickly to emergencies.
The system also allowed drone operators to help the police while being confined in their homes, eliminating the need to be present on the field. Whenever a request was triggered, operators could fly a drone from their home terrace and stream the video feed directly to the central dashboard.
According to Nikhil Methiya, Director of Dronelab, The “FlytNow solution has played an important role in our operations to mitigate the public health impact of COVID-19. It allowed us to deploy drones at scale, and features like live video streaming and guest-sharing helped us fulfill our aerial monitoring objectives while keeping the necessary authorities in the loop.”
In addition, the team at Dronelab also implemented an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system where drones could automatically identify public gatherings. Through rigorous research and testing, they came up with various social distancing models that they used to deploy the drones for monitoring.
Apart from monitoring and surveillance, drones were also used for the delivery of medical supplies in quarantine areas of the city and aerial disinfection with collaboration from local civic bodies.
Privacy & Security First
With any disruptive technology, there are always concerns with regards to privacy and security. In view of the policies on the protection of personal data in India, the idea of drones hovering above, 24x7, may have seemed daunting. To address this issue, Dronelab requested all drone operators to follow a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), as follows:
- Drone operators are to use low definition footages so as to not to identify individuals or a community.
- Drone operators are to delete any image or video that is violating human rights.
- Groups conducting drone flights have to seek necessary permissions and coordinate with local authorities.
- Drone operators are to inform the local community that they are conducting surveillance for their health and safety.
- Operators are to follow all safety protocols related to personal, drone and community safety.
- Help local authorities to plan emergency responses based on the drone data.
- Should not store any form of data after the operations.
Drones as First Responders
Drones were a key ally in India’s fight against COVID-19. Public health & safety emergencies, such as this, are an ideal use case for drones because they can be quickly deployed to get live videos, issue warnings, identify crowds and even sense body temperature.
India has shown the world a future where the government and private sector can work together, to fight a pandemic and protect public health.
How Citymesh is Using Drone-in-a-Box Systems for BVLOS Emergency First Response in Genk, Belgium
Headquartered in Oostkamp, Belgium, Citymesh is a pioneer of wireless connectivity with fifteen years of experience in high-end network design, installation, and maintenance.
Through the combination of various technologies including 5G, Wi-Fi, smart sensors, and data visualization, they provide B2B smart infrastructure and innovative solutions in a variety of markets that are tailored to the needs of their clients.They specialize in private 5G services and play a key role in setting up wireless networks in (smart) cities, at events, (air)ports, industrial facilities, and warehouses.
Why Genk is Using Smart Tech to Improve Emergency Response
Rapid response in the face of crises and life-threatening situations, such as fires and incidents, is critical for city officials all over the world. Fire departments across nations are implementing new technologies to improve operations and save lives.Drones are one such valuable tool that has assisted firefighters in improving situational awareness. The imaging technology, software and accessories on board the drone enables the emergency services to gather information more quickly and efficiently in the event of an incident. Some of the major challenges that drones are able to solve include:
- Incorrect Initial Report of Incident: The emergency services often receive distress calls, either from a bystander at the scene of the incident that does not fully or sometimes even incorrectly describes the incident or from an automated fire alarm. The emergency services dispatcher allocates resources based on the report, only to discover that they are insufficient in scale and/or type for the actual incident. Response time is critical. Any delay in responding to the incident effectively could result in fatalities or additional infrastructure damage. A local drone team needs time to drive to the scene, get the drone ready and start flying.
- Lack of Real-time Awareness: Determining the extent of the fire, how to tackle it and the threat it poses can frequently be challenging due to the smoke and obstacles en-route to and onsite. The capacity of fire teams to respond to the situation quickly, adequately & efficiently is limited by these difficult-to-reach locations.
However, drones piloted by humans have certain limitations especially in fast-paced, dynamic environments.
- Closing the Information Gap: Only the emergency services’ own drone team at the scene and, in best case, the local fire services officer are fully aware of the situation. Streaming the drone’s camera video feed to a local emergency services command center and/or dispatch or other stakeholders is not always possible, reliable or cheap. As a result, dispatchers and fire service officers coordinating from the department's headquarters, especially in case of large scale incidents, frequently lack complete information, making it difficult to make the right decisions.
- Inefficient Operations: It is challenging to respond with the appropriate level of resources, equipment & urgency if the team lacks clear knowledge. Sending too little resources can have detrimental consequences, but sending too much resources is problematic too as it draws the limited resources away from other incidents. In addition, heavy fire trucks racing through dense city centers poses its own risks for safety.
To overcome all these obstacles, the Belgian city of Genk decided to implement a combination of autonomous drone-in-a-box technology, AI, and a private 5G network to provide unique insights to emergency services without the need for additional staff.
Mayor Wim Dries emphasizes "Because of the dynamic nature of a city like Genk, we want to keep innovating. As a smart city, we use technology to improve the help we can offer to our residents and to ensure that our police and emergency services work as efficiently as possible. In this way, we can all work together to make Genk a safer place.”
How Citymesh’s Safety Drones is Overcoming these Challenges
The City of Genk recently launched a pilot one-of-a-kind initiative with Citymesh's Safety Drone solution to assist emergency services in collecting information more quickly and efficiently during accidents with the help of drone technology.
The Citymesh Safety Drone solution is a fully automated Drone-in-a-Box system that allows first responders to immediately deploy a drone Beyond-Visual-line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) to an incident in order to quickly and reliably get a real-time overview of the situation/incident on the ground.
The Safety Drone provides first eyes on-scene, even before local response teams arrive, to all relevant stakeholders. It is a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) asset which can be deployed within 2 minutes. Citymesh established a private 5G mobile network bubble over the city of Genk to enable both Smart City use-cases on the ground and autonomous Beyond-Visual-line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) drone operations in the air.
As it is a private network, it is tailored and built-to-spec specifically for that city and its use-cases which ensures reliable, secure, low-latency, mission-critical communications across the entire 3D volume around the city. In addition, the use of a private 5G network guarantees reliable communications, even during large scale disasters when public 4G/5G networks are saturated or offline.
High-resolution drone videos and images of the incident scene are sent in real time to the remote drone operator, the emergency services dispatch and officers, the first response team(s) en-route to the incident or on-site, the mayor and/or other emergency services using the private 5G network. As a result, all relevant stakeholders are fully aware of the scope and severity of the situation, allowing them to make more informed coordinated decisions based on realistic, real-time, accurate data.
"Using a drone in emergencies allows us to assess the situation before we arrive on the scene. This saves us crucial minutes that could potentially save lives, and gives us more insight into how best to approach the incident and conduct our intervention."
How Safety Drone Program Works
When a distress call is placed to the emergency number 112, the Safety Drone is dispatched from the docking station located on the roof of Genk's police station located in the center of the city. The drone flies autonomously to the incident site while being remotely monitored by an operator at the Citymesh's Remote Operations Center (ROC) in Oostkamp, Belgium.
Remote operators from the ROC can remotely manage, monitor and control the drone and docking station using the FlytNow-powered software. The ROC systems are integrated with the emergency services dispatch systems so the remote operator instantly has all relevant information on their screen when a Safety Drone is called upon.
The live HD-video feed and high-resolution images captured by the drone are transmitted in real-time to the ROC, the police forces, fire-brigade & emergency services to accurately anticipate risks and select the best equipment needed for a successful rescue mission. The remote operators are in contact with dispatch and local first response teams so they can fulfill their requests of focusing the drone’s cameras on a specific zone or the overall incident scene. They are also in contact with air traffic services to ensure flight safety with respect to other (manned) aircraft.
Because the information is highly sensitive, it is routed through the Citymesh private 5G network and its datacenter. The data is accessible only to authorized personnel and stakeholders through a secure, internally developed, video streaming platform (DroneHub) in accordance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The data is destroyed after a certain period of time.
How Citymesh is Ensuring Safety in Operations
Furthermore, because the drone flights will take place in urban areas, ensuring operational safety has been a critical factor in the project's implementation. Several safety features have been included while keeping regulatory requirements in mind. Some essential features include:
- Parachute Integration: In the unlikely event that the entire system fails, Citymesh's Safety Drone incorporates integration with an autonomous parachute system so that the parachute will open automatically and the drone would land safely.
- Failsafes: A number of failsafe events and associated behaviors can be configured by operators using the ROC’s software - FlytNow. For instance, a failsafe action is triggered and the drone automatically returns to the docking station if the connection is lost, the battery runs low, or it loses internet connections.
- No-Fly-Zone Integration: The remote operator can also upload/create No-Fly-Zones (NFZ) on the FlytNow dashboard to avoid the drone from entering into a restricted or prohibited airspace.
- Smart Return-to-Home: Once the NFZ is set and the drone needs to return to the docking station, instead of using a straight path back home, FlytNow creates a smart path in which the drone returns while avoiding the NFZs.|
- Weather Station Integration: The docking station includes a weather station that records vital information such as temperature, rainfall, and humidity, among other things. If it begins to rain while the drone is in flight and the set threshold is exceeded, the drone will return to the docking station autonomously.
Also Read: Automate Drone Surveys and Data Collection
Citymesh’s Plans for Expansion
The Safety Drone is being used during the day in the first phase of the project, but will later be used for 24/7 operations. The drone is currently flying at a height of 90 meters and covering a radius of 3 to 4 kilometers. As progress is made and the network is expanded, the drone will be able to cover a 5-kilometer radius. Currently, the East Limburg Fire Brigade Zone is using this autonomous technology. The local police force, CARMA, may take part in the second phase.
"We are very enthusiastic about implementing this project together with the city of Genk and the regional emergency services. This project is a unique combination of technologies that will shape the future of our society,” says Mitch De Geest, CEO of Citymesh.
Citymesh provides the full Safety Drone Solution as a service. This means emergency services, fire brigade and police do not have to invest in drones, drone and communication infrastructure nor in the education and training of licensed drone pilots. It is important to note that the Safety Drone Solution and local drone teams are not competing with each other but are complementary to each other. Much can be learned from each other. In fact, Citymesh drone operators have been trained in first response tactics by the local first response drone teams.
Emergency services sometimes already (or will soon) have their own local drone team that is equipped with small drones. These drive to the incident location and perform flight operations at the scene and swap batteries between flights. Their advantage is that it allows them to be practically continuously in the air and provide a continuous overview of the situation, especially of long duration incidents, while the Safety Drone has to return to charge/swap its batteries.
Their main disadvantage is that they have a longer response time as they need to drive to the scene, get the drone ready and start flying. The Safety Drone pilot is currently financed & supported by S-Lim, an organization which unites the Limburg municipalities to enable the region to grow into a smart region via collaboration. The experience and knowledge gained will later be shared with other cities and municipalities in the province.
Nitin Gupta, Founder & CEO of FlytBase, Inc. concludes by stating, "Citymesh's Safety Drone project has been a revolutionary step toward using drone autonomy for saving lives and improving operational efficiency. The project will serve as a powerful guide for emergency service providers worldwide.”
Deploying Automated Drones for Airport Monitoring [Case Study]
Drones are efficient and cost-effective in capturing visual data, on an object, or an earmarked piece of land. That is why they have proliferated into many industries, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now being used for a variety of monitoring purposes. Modern drones are highly capable of monitoring. Powered by intelligent software, drones can be flown over the internet, stream live videos, and cover long distances by leveraging fixed wings.
Using such capabilities, UAV service providers can thus deploy drones to monitor the assets of an airport and even long runways and transmit the live video footage to stakeholders sitting far away. Note: Learn how FlytNow powered the very first remote construction site inspection in the city of Lillestrøm, Norway over a 5G network.
Benefits of Using Drones for Airport Asset Monitoring
Drones are a better tool for monitoring than ground-based vehicles, because of the following reasons:
- Drones are small and agile vehicles that can go in nearly all places, especially those where it might be dangerous for humans to go.
- A single drone can cover a large area very easily and quickly.
- A drone can be fitted with a thermal camera, which might be used during the night time.
- Drones can be made smarter by fitting them with companion computers. For example, an operating system like FlytOS, when installed on a companion computer, provides AI-based features like precision landing, object detection, and collision avoidance.
- Drone-based monitoring can be automated with the help of cloud-connected platforms such as FlytNow.
How FlytNow Business Enabled Dr-ONE to Monitor One of DronePort's Airports
The infrastructure of an airport requires periodic monitoring for maintenance purposes. One of our partners, DR ONE is leveraging the FlytNow platform to deploy drones for runway, hanger, and airport vegetation monitoring. Compared to conventional methods, aerial monitoring has the following benefits:
- Minimum disruption to airport operations while monitoring since no land-based equipment is used.
- Data is collected by the drones which can be later processed using standardized software.
- Since a drone can carry a variety of sensors, there is richness in the data collected by the drones.
- The data produced by drones is traceable and reproducible which eliminates any form of subjectivity that an inspector might have.
By leveraging the capabilities of FlytNow, DR-ONE was able to perform the following activities during a monitoring-mission of one the runways of DronePort (EBR 62), Belgium:
- Using the advanced mission planning feature of FlytNow, they controlled the flight path of their drones over an area close to 88 hectares.
- The waypoints in FlytNow support the setting of altitude and speed which DR-ONE used to control the flight behavior of drones so they cause minimum disruption to airport operations. The precision settings of FlytNow allowed them to maintain an average speed of 17 km/h during their mission.
- The live video streaming capability of FlytNow enabled DR-ONE to monitor the runway, other infrastructures like airplane hangars, and the surrounding vegetation.
- FlytNow gave DR-ONE a unified dashboard to monitor the entire operation, including the ability to change views from map view to cockpit view.
- The geofence feature of FlytNow allowed DR-ONE to conduct safe operations by restricting the flight area of a drone since only a limited section of the airport had to be monitored. In addition to geofences, FlytNow’s built-in RTH (Return to Home) function allowed them to call their drone back to the base after completing the mission.
FlytNow Enterprise for Airport Monitoring
The enterprise version of FlytNow provides a whole host of customizations and features to adjust to situational challenges like operating in an airport. Some of them are as follows:
Airports operate under severe restrictions for the safety of aircraft and people on the ground. The airspace above and around airports is managed and controlled by the Air Traffic Control. So anyone flying a drone inside or close to an airport would require coordination with the Air Traffic Control.
There are service providers that provide intelligence on airspace and detailed map overlays of restricted airspace. FlytNow Enterprise provides REST API that can be used to integrate with such services, enabling service providers like DR ONE to conduct monitoring activities safely without violating any airspace norms.
Both the enterprise and business version support thermal cameras; coupled that with AI-add-ons, available in the enterprise version, like object detection, an operator can identify damages to the runway and other assets much more easily.
One of the reasons why drones are useful is because they can cover a large area quickly. Managing multiple drones is the primary pain point that FlytNow solves. Both the enterprise and business version offers a unified dashboard to manage and control a fleet of drones. In monitoring missions, as the one DR-ONE did, multiple drones are beneficial since airports are spread across a large area.
Apart from Runway Pavement Monitoring What Other Places Drones can be Used?
Here are some of the use cases where drones are being adopted for aerial monitoring:
Drones are being used to monitor traffic: London Metropolitan Police are using drones to monitor traffic conditions. They are primarily using drones to pip-point drivers engaging in road-rage.
Crowd Monitoring: During the recent 2020 COVID pandemic, drones were used to monitor the streets of cities in India for catching unlawful gatherings during the lockdown phase. Learn how an Indian startup established India’s first drone command center using FlytNow.
Monitoring of Properties: Both commercial and residential real estates are using drones to safeguard their perimeters. A software solution like FlytNow can automate drone-patrolling around a property to protect its perimeter.
Wild-life monitoring: Drones are being used by forest officials around the world to keep an eye on forest life, and safeguarding it from dangers like poaching and illegal deforestation.
In this blog, we primarily discussed how DR ONE used the FlytNow platform for the monitoring of assets of an airport with great advantages. A fleet management system like FlytNow makes complex operations like monitoring less challenging and yields some of the following benefits:
- Time-saving: Since multiple drones can be deployed and managed easily.
- Cost-saving: A single operator can control and manage multiple drones from a unified dashboard.
- Compliant: Operating in an airport means coordination with multiple agencies; the integration features of FlytNow allows for that.
FlytNow is the perfect tool for drone service providers looking to upgrade their capabilities regarding monitoring either of airport assets or any other use case