6 Major Industries Being Elevated by Drones

The benefits of drones are difficult to ignore, fueling the adoption of UAV technology in some of the economy’s largest sectors.

While some drone applications, such as aerial deliveries, are still in their infancy, other uses have exploded globally. If you’re already aware of the benefits drones bring to the table, it should come as no surprise that the drone service market is expected to reach $63.6 billion by 2025.

A review of six industries taking advantage of drone technology highlights a few applications for these aerial innovations.

And, the diverse nature of these industries also speaks to the versatility of UAVs themselves. They serve as examples of how nearly every organization can benefit from drones.

1. Construction

The construction industry was one of the first to see all of the value that drone technology has to offer.

The use of drones in a variety of applications within this industry quickly proved that UAVs could lower costs, improve project management, and lower the occurrence of safety incidents.

Drones are excellent tools for tracking the progress of building projects. The video feeds they provide can be sent in real-time to project planners, allowing them to have greater control in keeping builds on time and on budget.

Other applications include volumetric calculations of stockpiles, asset monitoring, 3D mapping with survey-level accuracy, and inspections of completed sections.

2. Oil & Gas/Utilities

Utility companies, along with the oil and gas industry, were also early adopters of the technology. In the utility sector, drones are used for inspecting powerlines, solar panels, and wind turbines.

Before drones, people had to risk dangerous heights, and possible electrocution, in order to assess the condition of critical infrastructure. Now, drones take care of these tasks without any risk to your team members. 

In the oil and gas industry, pipelines are a significant concern.

The lines can extend for hundreds of miles in terrain that’s difficult – if not impossible – to access. Some lines are even subterranean.

Drones can carry payloads that detect gas leaks, and can alert crews to other emergencies such as a pipeline rupture. UAVs cover ground much faster than a team of people, and help to prevent potential ecological and economic disasters.

3. Security

Cameras have been a part of security operations since the early 1940s. But, drone-based aerial photography takes this to an entirely different level.

Facilities of all sizes use both tethered and untethered UAVs to monitor entrance and exit points, perimeters, and maintain control of inventory and other assets.

Additionally, applications are already in development for home-based security drones. As a part of the Internet Of Things (IoT), UAVs like Sunflower Labs’ Bee could become the standard for autonomous monitoring of homes and businesses.

A user can ask the Bee to look around for intruders or other threats, from any location, providing peace of mind like never before.

4. Military

It should come as no surprise that militaries around the world have been using drones for decades.

Military professionals have benefited from both the intelligence gathering capabilities and the lethal effects of UAV technology. Keeping soldiers out of harm’s way while providing real-time situational awareness is changing the nature of the battlefield. 

Recently, the military has identified the benefit of small UAVs.

Initiatives, such as the Defense Institute Unit’s Blue sUAS project, harness the design and expertise of commercial manufacturers to empower the warfighter like never before.

Drones now provide small units on the ground recon and communication abilities that were once reserved only for high-level operations.

5. Real Estate

Managing residential and commercial buildings can be a huge undertaking.

Large operations can require teams of inspectors to monitor both exterior and interior conditions for maintenance planning. It’s a difficult job that can be slow and tedious work.

But, drones can carry RGB cameras, thermal optics, and LiDAR to accomplish these tasks in a fraction of the time it takes people to do the same.

Often, the information collected by the drone is more accurate, and can be used to create 3D models and digital twins.

There’s also the added bonus of increasing safety, since drones can operate at heights that would put humans in potentially dangerous situations.

6. Conservation/Research

From researching animals to replanting forests devasted by wildfires, drones significantly impact the world of academics and conservationists.

The ability to safely and remotely study environments is made possible through UAVs. Projects like collecting material from whale blowholes would have been impossible before drones, but now they are a routine and easy undertaking.

The variety of payloads drones can be outfitted with make them ideal for many applications in the field of conservation and research.

Whether it’s LiDAR uncovering the extent of Mayan cities buried in the jungle, multi-spectral cameras studying diseased trees, or photographing active volcanoes, drones are a force multiplier.

The Takeaways

The wide variety of industries adopting the use of drones just goes to show how versatile they really are.

Whether it’s saving money, increasing safety, or going to places manual methods can’t, they can be adapted for nearly any situation. At this point, technology and manufacturing has made it so that the only limits on drones are the limits to your own imagination.

Have you considered the benefits drones can bring to your organization? Which drone is right for you? And, how do you get started? Do you hire out or bring your drone program in-house?

At Consortiq, we help you find a better way with drones, from consultation and program implementation to actually doing the work for you.

Ready to learn more? Just complete the form below to schedule a risk-free consultation!

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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