Top 10 Industries That Have Successfully Adopted UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems aka “Drone”) Technology
Drone technology is making it possible to do a lot of things that before would have required expensive equipment, a lot of manpower, would have been cost-prohibitive or require extremely concentrated execution. Many industries have embraced and adopted UAS technology with great success.
How data is collected, analyzed, used and integrated into existing technology and systems is integral to realizing the cost savings and efficiencies that make adopting UAS worthwhile.
The following 10 industries have embraced UAS technology and have increased revenue or improved efficiencies (or both!)
- Energy and Infrastructure
- Public Safety
- Surveying And Mapping
Working with UAS has proved a game-changer for many agricultural industries. In terms of inspections necessary for insurance claims, drone technology saves a lot of time and money. Such drones help assess security along difficult-to-reach property lines, determine fence strength, and keep an eye on varying herds.
Through aerial imaging, UAS can make many farming processes more simple, providing the same services helicopters and planes did previously; but at a fraction of the cost and time.. Automated imaging and management leading to higher crop yields? Imagine that!
UAS solution opportunities in construction are endless. Property owners can evaluate the progress of new construction, without stepping a foot on-site and view locations that are traditionally difficult (and sometimes dangerous) to access.
Owners of large parking lots can determine total maintenance needs remotely including repairs, gradients, and other such precise determinations quickly. What about assessment/surveying?
BIM integration, improved resource management, and general operational streamlining is seen throughout the construction industry owing to UAS integration. From stockpile surveying with increased accuracy to assessment, surveying, and safety monitoring, UAS has proved a next-level innovation for the industry.
When cities are looking to expand a road, leveraging UAS to count cars throughout the day is significantly more cost-effective than doing so “manually”. Sometimes you do need a road expansion, sometimes you don’t–drones provide clear data.
Additionally, drones are used to evaluate road systems to determine accident likelihood and other public safety needs. After a major weather event, UAS are quickly available to determine drainage, damage, or flooding issues to keep the public safe.
Drones help ensure the height of overpasses for big trucks and can help get the most accurate signage for such a pass. Manual inspections are costly, and their accuracy is difficult to vet. Drones solve these problems and many more in the transportation industry with ease and speed.
- Energy and Infrastructure
UAS technology makes the inspection of difficult-to-reach places much easier. Some places are remote, oil rigs, etc. Others are complex systems of infrastructure that make it challenging and expensive to manually inspect with traditional methods.
Powerplant inspectors are seeing and inspecting parts of the plan that have never been seen or inspected because of the expense and challenge of manual inspections.
UAS inspections of linear infrastructures, such as transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines have led to immense manpower and cost savings, as well as more immediate safety reporting and issue resolution.
Rail bridges, windmills, oil rigs, and refineries are all inspected with ease via UAS. And through AI and machine learning, the drones become smarter every time they fly. They are better able to predict trends and spot problems with every flight.
- Public Safety
Many public safety agencies, including Fire, Police, and SAR teams are adopting drones as a tool in their efforts. The ability to rapidly organize and deploy drones along with the ability to provide real-time aerial footage from remote and often inaccessible areas make UAS valuable tools in public safety. In addition, conditions often make it challenging to fly manned aircraft, and some locations almost impossible to be reached on foot particularly when delays can mean life or death.
Drones give public safety personnel important data to help map accidents, or assessing risks. All these things are done more quickly and conveniently through drone tech than other, more manual and labor-intensive methods.
- Surveying And Mapping
Geospatial professionals have always relied on satellite imagery and manned imagery from manned aircraft to perform their jobs. Highly effective methods, but costly and time-consuming.
Early adopters of UAS technology, geospatial professionals, have embraced all things UAS and have been able to cut costs and streamline the imaging process. Photogrammetry, topographic surveys, point clouds, building orthomosaics, corridor surveying, cadastral surveying, volumetric calculation, and collection–the list goes on.
- Film Industry
The film industry was one of the first to adopt UAS usage. Adventurous cinematographers are using advanced UAS features like precision maneuvering and automated navigation to create amazing outcomes for their films.
Adapting the UAS to provide a high level of stability in a range of conditions, while also supporting bulky high-definition cameras may have been a challenge, but the output of spectacular high-definition footage from the air has been worth it for cinematographers.
If patent filings for drone delivery services is anything to go by, then the Commerce Drone Delivery Service space is set to explode. Amazon already uses drone technology, as does Walmart in their warehouses.
In fact, there’s a patent race between Amazon and Walmart pertaining to drone technology currently underway.
While the race to own the drone delivery space continues in the US, companies like Flytrex, Zipline, Flirtey and Matternet already operate in some areas, such as Iceland, where Flytrex makes food delivery runs for residents of the city of Reykjavik.
There is little doubt that such services will soon play a key role in all of our lives, especially with Amazon and Walmart vying for drone delivery technology dominance.
While the US is just beginning to integrate drones into its airspace, thousands of medical flights have occurred in Rwanda since that country started a nationwide drone system in late 2016. UAS have carried medications, blood supplies, and other items to clinics across the country.
A drone carrying medical supplies to a remote or hazardous area is an effective alternative to traditional delivery methods. Populations across the world have limited access to urban medical centers, and often weather conditions make traditional delivery methods impractical. Drones are able to deliver life-saving supplies faster, and more cost-effectively than the road and air alternatives.
In the dangerous field of volcanology, scientists are keeping close tabs on dangerous active volcanoes using UAS. Volcanologists can track lava flow paths, produce elevation models of the changing landscapes, take thermal images, and track the gases released at active sites.
Before UAS, scientists would use monitoring instruments to measure a variety of factors in the volcano. But if the volcano erupted, the instruments would burn up. A lot of the key data being monitored occurs during eruptions, and this is where the UAS technology outperforms the more traditional instruments. Scientists carefully fly the drone into the volcano to collect important data.
Monitoring volcanoes by drone doesn’t replace traditional monitoring methods, but supplements them, giving researchers potentially life-saving data during life-threatening situations.
Ample Opportunity For Optimization
Whether you’re in construction, transportation, medicine, or inspection, or another industry, there is no doubt that drone technology helps save money and expand operational efficiencies.
That said, being able to utilize the data and integrate it into your existing systems and technology is the single most important factor to seeing those cost savings and operational efficiencies.
UAS technology specialists like WebTeks help you maximize your potential in terms of UAS utility.
Check out the UAS Services that we offer here at Web Teks.