How to Pitch Drone Solutions to Leadership

The coronavirus pandemic placed a strain on many businesses. 

With a projected 5.2% reduction of global GDP in 2020, most everyone has felt the economic impact of the virus.

Some industries, such as tourism, will lose trillions of dollars in revenue, and millions of jobs worldwide. Other sectors might feel less of an impact, but they’re still taking the time to decrease spending as a precautionary measure.

Regardless of how severe the pandemic’s impact has been on your business, you have likely seen a decrease in expenditures. It’s human nature to be averse to change in times of uncertainty.

That response is, at times, unfortunate, particularly in the business world. That’s because, during times like these, exploring new technology may be most advantageous for the future.

Perhaps, before the pandemic, you read about drone solutions for commercial applications, and the many potential benefits the technology could offer your business or organization.

Maybe you’d like to explore adding drones solutions to your company, but you’re sure how to sell the idea to your leadership team. Decreased company spending may even have you concerned about discussing adoption of UAVs into the organization.

Of course, that’s perfectly normal. And, with proper preparation, you can overcome it.

Let’s discuss a few considerations on how to take advantage of the current economic conditions to successfully pitch bringing drones into your organization.

Drone Solutions Implementation: Making it Pitch Perfect

Investing in new technology can be a tough sell in any economic environment.

When looking to convince your supervisor to consider UAV technology, it is essential to present your findings in a manner that shows your understanding of the topic.

Remember, drone consultancy firms are a fantastic resource when researching drone applications and putting your case together for UAV integration.

Organize Your Presentation

First, make sure to properly organize your presentation.

Drones are proven, useful tools in a wide range of industries, so there’s plenty of available information. Make sure you understand the different types of drone hardware, payloads, and training needed to operate each platform. And, make sure you’re comfortable with explaining which ones are best suited for your specific use cases.

To ensure that you have an expert perspective, it’s best practice to speak with a drone consultancy firm, as consultants add in-depth knowledge based on experience designed to make your presentation a success.

Get the facts together on drone capabilities, as well as their limitations. Design your presentation so that the facts speak for themselves.

A well-organized brief will hold your audience’s attention and make it much easier for you to present your case.

Create a Unique Business Case

Next, show you understand how UAV technology applies to your specific business.

For example, drones are excellent tools in precision agriculture, discussing multispectral imagery may not be helpful if your primary business is in construction. Identify and present use cases from within your sector.

Also, you’ll need to identify specific benefits relevant to your company’s needs. Consider which of the many advantages drones provide will be most important to your supervisor, then break it down in a way he/she will understand.

Start Small and Build as Needed

While you may envision a fleet of UAVs and teams of pilots joining your organization, your supervisor perspective may see that as too much too soon.

Often, a trial program is the best way to generate buy-in from leadership.

Look to propose drone solutions designed to capture low-hanging fruit, such as improving safety by keeping people out of harm’s way. Small gains during a trial period are easy to transfer into more comprehensive programs at a later time.

And, of Course, ROI

Perhaps to best selling point from a supervisor’s perspective is the return on investment (ROI).

In most cases, ROI calculates what the company needs to invest in drone technology and how long it will take to see a return. This financial calculation is pretty straightforward, but it should not be the only way you discuss ROI.

Investing in new UAV technology can, of course, produce a financial return. But, other returns are worth discussing with upper management as well.

UAVs have given many industries improved safety ratings, eliminated redundancies, enhanced security, and provided customers with better products or services than realized through traditional methods.

Bringing It All Together

Drones solutions have been successfully proven across a wide range of use cases.

With a little research, and even some assistance from UAV consulting firms, you can successfully pitch exploring drone usage in your organization.

Creating an organized, factually supported brief with a focus on ROI is the best approach for briefing supervisors on the benefits of UAVs.

Ready to make your presentation? We’re here to help!

From operational support and drone training solutions, to online consultation and drones-as-a-service, our team of UAS experts is here to help you present your case and accomplish your goals!

Complete the form below to schedule a consultation today!

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.

Ready to Integrate Drones Into Your Organization? Contact Us Today to Get Started!

Here’s How Drones Improve Workplace Safety

There is often an understandable hesitation in moving from established methods towards adopting new technologies.

A Pew Research Center study found that only 28% of Americans liked to be early adopters of new innovations. Many organizations tend to wait for technology to prove itself before moving away from their current methods of addressing a problem or need.

One of the more recent technological advancements some people are hesitant to adopt are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones. Common reasons for the hesitation are privacy concerns, a lack of confidence in the technology, and perceived costs.

Additionally, there are concerns over regulatory conditions and legal variations from country to country.

Unlike other newer technologies, drones have already proven themselves. The list of successful use cases across many industries continues to grow every day. It is a fact that drones are a sustainable and economical solution for many applications.

For those looking for an additional reason to consider implementing drones into their operations, one of the most convincing arguments is related to safety.

Dangerous Conditions

Collectively, mankind has made incredible advancements.

From landing on the moon to harnessing the atom’s power, humans have accomplished much in the last 100 years alone. And yet, although we continue to discover and innovate, some of the most well-developed nations in the world still suffer from workplace fatalities.

Between 2018 and 2019, the United Kingdom reported workplace 147 fatalities. The number one cause of death in these cases was listed as falls from a height.

During the same period in the United States, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration reported a staggering 5,250 fatalities occurring in the workplace. Falls were again the largest cause of death (highway collisions were excluded from this count).

Many of these fatalities involved dangerous work tasks, such as utility inspections, that could have been accomplished by drones.

Part 107 Drone Pilot Training - Drone solutions - Consortiq
Improving Safety with Drones - Man flying a drone over a job site.

Drones, A Safer Solution

With so many fatalities, leaders and decision-makers must do everything they can to keep their employees out of harm’s way.

Safety discussions and personal protective equipment help mitigate situations like falls from a height. However, they cannot prevent them.

The only way to ensure some of these fatalities will not occur is to completely remove people from dangerous environments.

Drones are ideally suited to complete many of the tasks that place humans at dangerous heights.

Visual inspections of wind turbines, for example, put people hundreds of feet in the air. Inspection personnel are suspended with ropes as they methodically search for defects in the rotor, nacelle, tower, foundation, and electrical system of each wind turbine.

During the entire process, people are in danger of falling. Drones, on the other hand, can complete much of the inspection process without ever placing people in danger. Additionally, the versatility of payload options can allow for much more detailed data collection during the process.

Heights are not the only situations where drones can keep people out of harm’s way. UAVs can operate in smoke, high temperatures, toxic gas, confined spaces, dust, and radiation.

Another example of drones keeping people safe can be found in how we combat fires. Firefighters are often placed in burning buildings where flames, toxic smoke, and falling debris can quickly cause injury or death. Fire departments around the world are finding UAVs as a solution to keeping their teams safe.

Drones can assess the hot spots of a building and provide firefighters with situational awareness before they even approach a burning structure. They can then monitor the situation and keep track of individual firefighter locations, avoiding potential disaster if a team member is in danger. Drones provide an extra layer of safety between firefighters and flames.

Drones, A Safer Solution

With the ability to operate in the austere conditions, drones can easily help to lower workplace injuries and fatalities. In many cases, the technology eliminates the need to place people in dangerous environments all together.

Any loss of life or injury to people in the workplace is a tragedy. It is especially challenging to understand and process the loss when other options could have prevented the fatality. 

If your organization has yet to investigate how drones can improve your operations, ask if they can make your operation safer. You may find the return on invest in UAV technology is in keeping your people safe.

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.

Ready to Integrate Drones Into Your Organization? Contact Us Today to Get Started!

Get More Accurate Data in Less Time With Aerial Surveys

There already exists an impressive list of use cases for drones across a diverse set of industries.

Some UAV applications are seeing positive but limited use, such as drones designed for planting trees. Other UAV solutions are becoming more widespread and commonplace. One of the most prevalent UAV solutions is aerial surveying.

Surveying is essential to many of the largest sectors of the global economy. Construction, mining, oil and gas, real estate, and several other industries rely on accurate survey data for building, project management, and other onsite operations.

Traditionally, these industries have used ground survey methods to collect the data needed to create outputs, such as 3D models, topographic maps, volumetric estimates, orthomosaics, and other photogrammetry products.

Drones are more cost-effective for the task than land-survey crews. And, for many businesses, they’re the best option available.

The benefits of aerial surveying are fueling greater adoption of UAV technology. If you’re looking for a faster, safer way to conduct surveys, then drone-use might just be the solution.

How Aerial Surveys Work

Drone aerial surveying is a form of photogrammetry, or measuring distance using pictures.

There are several programs on the market that make planning and executing aerial survey flights almost automatic. 

When conducting an aerial survey, remote pilots fly the drone  over the subject area, with the camera pointing downward. As the drone flies on a predetermined course, pictures are taken at different angles and in an overlapping fashion.

Additionally, the drone’s GPS receiver records coordinates for the center point of each photograph.

After photos are uploaded to photogrammetry software, the data is converted into any number of products, such as topographic maps or 3D models.

How Accurate Are Drone Aerial Surveys?

So, how accurate are they?

The short answer is that, with the right drone and additional equipment, they’re just as accurate as ground-based surveys. And, they cover more areas, such as dangerous terrain.

Aerial surveys include both relative and absolute accuracy. Relative accuracy is the accuracy between two images or points the drone collects. Absolute accuracy is how accurate the aerial survey is to the Earth’s surface.

Drones use GPS receivers to record the coordinates assigned to a given image they collect. GPS receivers. on most drones, have high relative accuracy but are not as accurate in absolute terms.

That means the data they collect can quickly be processed into 3D maps and other products, but some calibration is necessary to align with the Earth’s surface and yield survey-level absolute accuracy.

To achieve this, tools called Ground Control Points (GCPs) are added to the aerial surveyor’s kit. GCPs are markers on the ground whose location is recorded using handheld or built-in GPS receivers with a very high absolute accuracy level.

When the coordinates for these points are compared to the drone’s data, the relative data points are calibrated, and highly accurate survey data is produced.

The Benefits of Aerial Surveys

There are several significant benefits to using aerial survey platforms, as opposed to land-based survey teams.

If your business uses land-based teams, switching to aerial surveys can produce a noticeable difference in your bottom line.

Additionally, It saves you a substantial amount of time. UAVs cover a large amount of ground in a short time frame. Some drones are capable of completing surveys 80% faster than traditional methods.

Also, many environments that require surveys are dangerous. Construction sites, open-pit mines, or even areas affected by natural disasters pose severe threats to humans looking to survey the area.

Drones offer standoff from the immediate danger while still allowing for accurate surveys to be completed. Additionally, drones typically do not require an active site to be shut down for your survey team’s safety.

Land-based survey teams often require advanced scheduling and several days or even weeks to complete a project.

And, the low cost of capable UAV platforms allows for most operations to have in-house drone capabilities. This convenience means surveys can be conducted whenever needed, without the hassle of scheduling surveyors or using outside resources.

Aerial surveys with drones are quickly becoming the standard. As technology continues to improve, UAVs will likely command a larger share of the survey market. If you are currently using traditional survey methods, invest the time to investigate aerial survey options further with a qualified consultant.

Bringing It All Together

Aerial surveys with drones are quickly becoming the standard.

As technology continues to improve, UAVs will likely command a larger share of the survey market.

Are you looking to a better way to conduct your surveys? We’re here to help. Whether you want to outsource or create your own in-house program , Consortiq offers Drones-as-a-Service, a full complement of training, and continued operational support.

Ready to get started? Just complete the form below!

Or, click here to learn more about aerial surveys by Consortiq!

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.

Ready to Integrate Drones Into Your Organization? Contact Us Today to Get Started!

Drones Help Precision Agriculture Take off in Australia

Climate change has made life hard for Australian farmers.

From record-setting bushfires to droughts, farmers have lost up to 20% of their profits over the past 20 years due to environmental factors.

With the pandemic-driven disruptions to the global economy, you might think that 2020 has been yet another year of hard hits for Aussie farmers.

Yet, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) forecasted that the winter crop yield will be 44.5 million tonns in 2020–21, which is 11 percent above the average annual level of the past ten years.

What's Going On Here? More Rain in 2020?

It’s true that 2020 hasn’t been quite as brutal as 2019, the hottest and driest year on record for Australia.

But rainfall across Australia was 43% below average in July, so that doesn’t seem to be the biggest thing that has changed. A more likely cause for this accomplishment is that Australia’s farmers improved with precision agriculture over the past few years.

And, as you might guess, drones played a key role in making that possible. 

Drones Improving Agriculture? How So?

The goal of precision agriculture is to optimize returns on inputs while preserving resources like water and chemicals.

To do that, farmers must be able to observe, measure, and respond to tiny variations of outcomes in their crops. For example, Queensland farmers use drones to map their fields of macadamia trees, identify unhealthy ones, and spray the trees at highest risk with fungicide and fertilizer to give them a boost.

According to the drone-manufacturing company XAG, these methods helped Australian farmers reduce water use by up to 90% and chemical use by up to 30%. That’s compared to the status-quo method of using tractor-mounted spray cannons as a spray tool for pest and disease management in macadamia orchards.

XAG drones are also being used to map hard-to-reach locations and drop seeds to restore empty fields.

What Types of Drones are Being Used For Precision Agriculture?

It really depends on the use case.

As a general rule of thumb, fixed-wing UAVs are the best when you want to cover a lot of ground. Alternatively, multirotors are better-suited to precision imaging of small or constrained areas and 3-D scanning of fields and objects, due to their maneuverability. 

When it comes to size, large drones tend to be more costly than small drones, but they’re also more weather-proof and better suited for large areas of coverage. Meanwhile, smaller drones tend to be better suited for activities requiring greater precision; as we’ve noted in another article,

Additionally, Japanese farmers have developed insect-sized drones to pollinate plants as bees do. 

In Australia, farmers and drone-as-a-service (DaaS) companies seem to use a variety of platform sizes and types. For example, Oztech Drones, a Queensland-based DaaS company, uses a 40-kg quadcopter for seeding, and smaller, [fixed-wing] surveying drones for mapping. 

Is Satellite Imagery Likely to Replace Drone Imagery Any Time Soon?

While many farmers use both types, satellite imagery and drone imagery have their pros and cons.

Because drones take a lot of time to survey a large plot of land, satellite companies make compelling offerings for frequent updates on macro-trends.

For instance, Planet Labs, a firm in San Francisco, keeps a fleet of about 30 mini-satellites (measuring a few centimeters across) in orbit. This allows it to provide fresh data to farmers at a relatively affordable rate, though the imagery has a resolution per pixel of only 3.5 meters (about ten feet).

Fitted with the right sensors, drones offer much better resolution, but it’s not usually cost-effective for farmers to gather drone data as frequently as they would like.

What is the Future of Precision Agriculture in Australia?

Right now, it seems like many farmers rely on DaaS companies to perform key precision agriculture functions, but that might change.

Most of Australia’s DaaS companies today are small businesses.

It’s unlikely that they’re working at a large enough scale to offer low prices for their services while still making a profit.

DaaS is appealing to farmers who are in the “experimental” phase of using drone technology, and aren’t ready to invest in an expensive platform and sensors. However, water scarcity might make precision farming more than just a competitive advantage … instead, it may become an absolute necessity.

In that case, it seems like farmers might decide to develop in-house drone solutions

However, if DaaS providers manage to scale up their offerings enough to ensure good quality and prices, it might make more sense for farmers to just just pay someone to provide drones solutions for them.

It’s worth noting that drones are just part of the picture. True, forward-thinking farmers are integrating IoT sensors, satellite data, and other data sources, into their strategies, as each offers unique pros and cons.

The quality and cost of data from these other sources will likely directly impact the role that drones play in data-gathering activities in the future. However, even if IoT sensors and satellites could provide all of the necessary data, farmers would still need a cost-effective method of administering water, insecticide, and fungicide to the plants in need.

And, drones seem particularly well-suited to do just that. 

Miriam Hinthorn - Contributing Author

Miriam Hinthorn - Contributing Author

Miriam Hinthorn is an experienced management professional who is currently pursuing her master’s in Data, Economics, and Development Policy at MIT while serving as principal consultant at Consult92.

Miriam developed a love for UAS technology when she served as operations manager at Consortiq. Today, having completed over 30 successful projects in 10 countries, she loves solving a wide variety of logistical, technical, and cultural challenges for her clients so that they can focus on what care about most.

Ready to Integrate Drones Into Your Organization? Contact Us Today to Get Started!

Drones to Detect Jellyfish For Nuclear Power Plant

Last month, the UK government’s Drones Pathfinder Programme announced the addition of a new project to its portfolio.

The project, led by Cranfield University and EDF Energy, will assess the feasibility of using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the early detection of marine hazards near coastal industries, particularly nuclear power stations.

What Problem is the Project Trying to Solve?

Basically, a lot of seaweed, jellyfish, fish and other marine wildlife get caught in the cooling systems of nuclear power plants in what is commonly called “marine ingress.”

Marine ingress damages nuclear plant machinery and disrupts power generation, which threatens the stability of the energy grid. For example, in 2011, EDF Energy’s Torness nuclear power plant in Scotland was forced to shut down twice in one week because of jellyfish incursions, and it lost about $1.5 million revenue per day.

From an ecological standpoint, ingress is equally concerning. For instance, a 2005 study of 11 coastal power plants in Southern California estimated that in 2003, a single nuclear plant killed close to 3.5 million fish.

While better filtration, use of innovative technology, such as “bubble curtains,” and well-timed shutdowns, can minimize the negative impact of marine ingress. All of these measures are costly and currently administered less precisely than would be ideal.

How Will UAS Help?

Scientists at the University of Cranfield believe that routine wide-area data capture by drones could improve nuclear plants’ early warning systems, which would allow for more timely adjustment of water-cooling mechanisms in response.

According to Angus Bloomfield, a marine biology consultant at EDF, simply improving the early warning system could enable power plants to “avoid the most dramatic effects these [marine ingress] events can bring.” 

To test this idea out, Cranfield University and its partners will first seek to optimize wide-area UAS monitoring protocols using statistical and mathematical techniques, as well as perform an academic review of the benefits of Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS) / BVLOS operations within the context of marine ingress detection.

Next, they will conduct BVLOS UAS trials near an EDF nuclear power station to detect jellyfish and kelp blooms and publish their results for the benefit of other nuclear plant operators, innovators, and researchers.

How Might This Study Impact the Drone Industry?

Nuclear power accounts for an estimated 21% of the U.K’s electricity,  20% of the U.S.’s, and 10% of global electricity.

Although many countries are phasing out nuclear power generation, it’s likely to remain a big industry for many years to come, so mitigating a major pain point could increase demand for drone solutions, as well as funding for further research and development. 

If the use-case proves popular in the U.S., where nuclear power plants are deemed to be critical infrastructure that is vulnerable to espionage, solutions will have to be developed with platforms manufactured domestically or in allied countries.

In this sense, an increase in demand for UAS solutions in the nuclear power sector may benefit domestic drone manufacturers in countries where the solutions are implemented, and shift the commercial drone market share away from DJI. 

Additionally, like airports, nuclear power companies will need to integrate their UAS solutions with effective security and counter-drone systems, given past instances of unidentified UAS swarms around power plants that have raised questions about nuclear plant vulnerability to terrorist drones and (more likely) drone-enhanced espionage

These are indirect effects which are conditional on the program’s success and widespread adoption – two developments which remain in the medium to long-term future.

For now, all that we know is that yet another promising UAS solution is being developed, and that it will be worth following the project to see what happens.

Miriam Hinthorn - Contributing Author

Miriam Hinthorn - Contributing Author

Miriam Hinthorn is an experienced management professional who is currently pursuing her master’s in Data, Economics, and Development Policy at MIT while serving as principal consultant at Consult92.

Miriam developed a love for UAS technology when she served as operations manager at Consortiq. Today, having completed over 30 successful projects in 10 countries, she loves solving a wide variety of logistical, technical, and cultural challenges for her clients so that they can focus on what care about most.

Ready to Integrate Drones Into Your Organization? Contact Us Today to Get Started!

These 4 Municipalities Advanced With Drone Technology

Municipalities around the world are exploring the benefits of UAV technology. In a study conducted by Goldman Sachs Research, the drone sector’s fastest growth opportunity centers on civil governments and businesses. Between 2016 and 2020, this segment of the industry will have spent $13 billion on drone acquisitions.

Drones offer city planners and administrators improved efficiencies and cost savings. UAVs are becoming indispensable tools for local governments to serve in roles across law enforcement, pandemic response, public safety, and others. As public opinion continues to improve, drones use will expand to an even more extensive range of tasks.

The rapid spread of drones, internationally, has cities around the world reporting positive results in testing and application.

1. Baltimore, Maryland - United States

Initially, public opinion of drones voiced concerns over invasion of privacy and dangers to crewed aircraft.

While some of these concerns were valid, improved legislation and awareness are mitigating much of the fear people had when drones started to become commonplace. As the public’s view improves, cities must decide if UAV technology benefits outweigh these concerns. In many cases, they do.

From the city of Annapolis using drones in 2017 to access traffic patterns to Howard County’s police force’s current operations, Maryland is embracing drones. Howard County’s drone program is larger than any other policy agency’s UAV program in the state. Drones have already helped in searches and crash investigations with great success.

2. Southampton - United Kingdom

The coronavirus has had a devastating impact across the world. As scientists and medical professionals look for vaccines and treatments, the UAV community is helping to keep people safe.

The Solent Transport partnership includes the Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, and the Isle of Wight Council. The partnership has worked with the University of Southampton to test drones delivering medical supplies across the strait.

This is a pre-cursor to the Future Mobility Zones (FTZ) initiative that is due to start later this year. This 3-year, cross-organizational, multi-million pound regulation, infrastructure and technology project will see the Solent area become the UK’s first full functional “UTM,” pioneering routine Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

Gareth Beverley, Consortiq’s FTZ Programme Director said: “Consortiq has a fantastic opportunity to make a lasting improvement to our local area, and hopefully the wider UK. Our experience in drone operations, navigating regulations, training and software are all integral to the success of the FTZ drones initiative.”

The trial, a first of its kind, used Windracers ULTRA UAV to transport medical supplies to COVID patients on the Isla of Wight, the United Kingdom’s second-most populous island. Researchers and government officials hope to increase efficiency, decrease the transportation time for medical supplies in the region, and reduce costs.

3. Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Just like the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates is seeking help from drones in the fight against COVID. The city of Dubai has been a significant supporter of drone technology. From drones for the police force to UAV taxis carrying humans, the city has embraced the UAV industry and continues to do so in the fight against COVID.

With a population of over 3.3 million, Dubai faces severe challenges from the virus. Public spaces are potential breed grounds for COVID and of great concern to city officials. Dubai is employing drones to sanitize large areas of the metropolis.

Drones designed initially for spraying pesticides in agriculture are now being repurposed for the task. The municipality is sterilizing 129 sites across the city and 23 public areas. The operation is part of a national sterilization program aimed at curbing the spread of COVID.

4. Ensenada - Mexico

A few years ago, the City of Ensenada purchased a single DJI Inspire 1 for their police force. With a population of just over 500,000 and covering 23.58 square miles, the city is one of Baja, California’s top tourist destinations.

From a control room, municipal police can operate the drone and direct it to the source of 911 emergency calls. The city has permission to fly their drone Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) from the Mexican air authorities. Video feeds from the drone can be view by command units and officers on the ground.

After just four months of implementation, the DJI Inspire 1 yielded impressive results. The drone aided in over 500 arrests. For most emergency 911 calls, the drone arrived before police officers. Even more impressive was a 30% decrease in robberies and an overall crime reduction by 10%.

Bringing It All Together - Drones & Municipalities

Municipalities deal with complex issues and fiscal challenges on a daily basis.

In financially challenging times, such as the current economic downturn from COVID, administrators and city officials should consider implementing drones into their operations. Exploring UAV technology is likely to result in cost savings and benefits well worth the time it takes to speak with a professional drone consultancy firm.

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About Consortiq

Consortiq is a global market leader of custom drone solutions. Our employees are driven by a mission to help corporations and state organisations leverage drone technology to accelerate progress and achieve the success they desire. At Consortiq, we base our solutions on intensive quantitative and qualitative research, hard facts, and deep subject matter expertise. As a talented group of drone and manned aircraft pilots, software engineers, defense consultants, and former air traffic control professionals, Consortiq’s employees understand the intricacies of aerial platforms and are able to provide a wide range of nuanced, effective solutions. 

We have a strong track record of providing training, logistical operations planning, fleet management software, risk mitigation, and legal/regulatory services, to clients in the media, public infrastructure, and public safety industries in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

Our accredited training program helps pilots prepare and go beyond the US Part 107 and the UK GVC

Need help developing a safe, compliant, and efficient program? Complete the form below to get started!

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.

Ready to Integrate Drones Into Your Organization? Contact Us Today to Get Started!

Drones take medical supplies to new heights during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments and other stakeholders to explore how innovative technologies can assist in the fight against the virus. 

Some of the most exciting and promising solutions have come from within the UAV community.

From disinfecting public areas to delivering much needed medical supplies, drones are on the frontlines of the current healthcare battlefield.  

Drones are not only helping with the current global health challenge, but have extended medicine’s reach for several years now. UAVs have assisted doctors around the world since around 2014. The versatility of the platform makes drones highly adaptable to a wide range of use cases. 

In emergency medicine, vaccinations, and other specialties, UAVs are becoming indispensable tools to medical and healthcare professionals. A few examples are listed below.

Disinfectiong Public Spaces

As the COVID-19 pandemic began in Wuhan, China, it was clear the crisis required pulling out all the stops. 

One of the first UAV companies to respond was Shenzhen, China based DJI. For several years, the company has utilized its drones for public safety efforts. As the virus spread and researchers determined COVID-19 could survive on hard surfaces, it was clear a disinfection plan for open spaces was needed.

DJI utilized drones designed to spray pesticides for the agricultural industry to address the issue. Public spaces, such as parks and bus stations, have been covered in disinfectants delivered from the air. Drones can spray an area more efficiently than people and keep cleaning personnel out of harm’s way. 

While the method still needs to be researched for overall effectiveness, it provides a model for cleaning public areas in the future.

Emergency Medicine

Modern medicine has drastically increased life expectancy. 

In 1950, the average life expectancy globally was around 48 years. By 2012, the average was 70 years. Much of the improvement in this number is a result of lower response times to medical emergencies. 

On April 19, 2019, the world’s first successful drone supported organ transplant occurredin Baltimore, Md. A specially designed UAV flew a human kidney to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where doctors transplanted the organ into a 44-year-old Baltimore woman.

In another use case, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been affixed to drones as early as 2014, when a graduate student in the Netherlands looked to lower emergency response times for heart attack victims. Companies like Reno, Nevada’s Flirtey, are currently working with government agencies to test out drone delivered AEDs in the United States.  

Initial results are promising.

Medical Supply Delivery

Around the world, drones are delivering medications and critical supplies. 

Since 2014, Zipline has used drones in Rwanda and Ghana to provide blood and vaccines to rural regions. In some cases, what would have taken a traveling doctor three days to deliver across the jungle now takes 30 minutes.

In response to COVID-19, UAVs are delivering prescriptions to patients at home to respect social distancing policies. UPS and pharmacy giant CVS have teamed up in Florida to provide medications to the elderly via drones. Manna Aero has been doing the same in rural communities within Ireland. 

The ability to provide supplies without direct human interaction is very appealing to both the doctor and the patient.   

In a time when human to human contact must be limited, drones are an ideal solution to providing medicine at a distance. The current global climate in response to the pandemic will likely accelerate the use of UAVs in this space.

Planning For a Safe Future

The current innovative uses for UAVs are only scratching the surface of potential applications in the medical field. 

For organizations exploring how drones can support their business model in the changing environment, safety should always be the primary concern.

Prior to testing drones, conduct a safety audit and develop a safety plan. Ensure operators are trained properly, establish standard operating procedures for events such as accidents and investigations, create logbooks & records, and ensure qualification requirements are met.

Drones have already had a lasting positive impact on the medical community. As new challenges from COVID-19 arise UAVs may provide many of the solutions. 

Ensuring we approach these challenges in a safe manner will facilitate the best outcome for all stakeholders. 

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About Consortiq

Consortiq is a global market leader of custom drone solutions. Our employees are driven by a mission to help corporations and state organisations leverage drone technology to accelerate progress and achieve the success they desire. At Consortiq, we base our solutions on intensive quantitative and qualitative research, hard facts, and deep subject matter expertise. As a talented group of drone and manned aircraft pilots, software engineers, defense consultants, and former air traffic control professionals, Consortiq’s employees understand the intricacies of aerial platforms and are able to provide a wide range of nuanced, effective solutions. 

We have a strong track record of providing training, logistical operations planning, fleet management software, risk mitigation, and legal/regulatory services, to clients in the media, public infrastructure, and public safety industries in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

Our accredited training program helps pilots prepare and go beyond the US Part 107 and the UK PfCO. 

Ready to create a UAS strategy for your business? Complete the form below to get started!

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.
Miriam developed a love for UAS technology when she served as operations manager at Consortiq. Today, having completed over 30 successful projects in 10 countries, she loves solving a wide variety of logistical, technical, and cultural challenges for her clients so that they can focus on what care about most.

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Construction and the Benefits of Drones

In recent years, UAV technology has been one of the standout tools aiding the construction industry.

 
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the construction industry is one of the largest in the global economy.

Approximately $10 trillion is spent annually on construction sector goods and services. With such an enormous amount of money dedicated each year, roughly 13% of the world’s GDP, experts are always looking for ways to increase productivity.

The most impactful solutions, which promise greater efficiencies, originate from innovation and technology. In recent years, UAV technology has been one of the standout tools aiding the construction industry. In many cases, drones are not only more efficient at a given task, but also more cost-effective. 

For those reasons, they present many stakeholders with win-win solutions.

Within the construction industry, some typical applications of drones include: Mapping and surveying, inspections, safety and risk mitigation, equipment monitoring, and project management. 

Stakeholders at every level — from executives to site superintendents — find that the data collected from drones is both timely and useful. The ability to quickly launch a drone and gain a real-time assessment of an active construction site is a game-changer. 

Beneficial reasons to use drones in surveying and mapping

Surveying and mapping are two of the most widely used drone applications in construction. 

Traditionally, site surveys and mapping have required the services of a survey team. Once scheduled, these teams will take accurate measurements using tools such as 3D scanners and theodolites.  

Data collection

The data collected is analyzed and used to generate site maps, as well as a variety of other products. Some examples include stockpile volumetric measurements, site layout plans, and recording the progress of onsite work.

While the data gained from a ground survey team is accurate, there are some drawbacks to the method. In many cases, the teams are independent contractors that require advance scheduling. Oftentimes, work must be suspended in the survey area for safety reasons, and it takes time to analyze data and generate products.

Maintenance

Drones are easily maintained onsite with a minimal impact on existing operations. A small space for charging batteries and storing drones is all that is required.  

Training

Training pilots is easily accomplished, especially with the assistance of a company specializing in enterprise clients. 

Enterprises focused trainers typically offer courses in not only the basics of flying but also in mission-specific tasks such as mapping and data collection.

 

Recent: Drones in Oil & Gas – Safe, Fast, Effective

 

Accuracy

Advances in positioning sensors, and the quality of camera payloads, have increased the accuracy of drone surveys over the last few years. 

In fact, platforms such as DJI’s M210 RTK industrial drone can achieve a relative vertical accuracy of approximately 2 cm and a relative horizontal accuracy of 1.20 cm. 

Speed

Speed is another advantage. 

By some estimates, drones can complete a survey three-to-five times faster than ground survey personnel. There are numerous software platforms, such as Pix4D, that automate the process, allowing the pilot to focus solely on flying safely.

Accessibility

A final advantage of using UAVs for this task is accessibility. 

Drones can reach areas in steep terrain or dangerous environments with ease. 

For example, assume your construction project requires an initial survey of a cell tower in a remote section of the national forest.  Getting a survey team into the area with all their gear would likely be more challenging than using a drone. 

The terrain can also significantly restrict the ability of the team to use equipment, such as a theodolite. The aerial survey of a UAV is only minimally affected by these challenges.

Bringing It All Together

Drones have the real and proven potential to positively impact your bottom line. With a relatively low initial investment, stakeholders up and down the chain will see the benefit of adding drones to their construction operations.  

Whether you are looking for cost-saving initiatives, risk mitigation, increased situational awareness, improved equipment monitoring, or a real-time solution to project management, you should consider adding drones into your arsenal.

Want to know which drone platform works best for your project? Need help with gathering unmanned data or policy development? We’re here to help! 

Complete the form below to get started!

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.

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