Learn from our years of experience to implement an enterprise UAS program that will deliver a significant return on investment. We’ve met dozens of companies that have struggled to gain value with UAS the way they envisioned when purchasing equipment. We help you cut through the marketing hype and get on the track to success with a clear picture and understanding of the opportunities, challenges, and limitations that a UAS program offers. With our Phoenix-based test range and training area, and significant in-industry experience we can bridge the gap between UAS technology and your deliverables.
We start with a detailed review of your program’s objectives. Typically we engage your stakeholders to review your legacy data requirements and formulate a program scope. UAS opens the door to a much higher frequency of data at a consistent quality. This provides new opportunities that may not have been previously considered – such as using a UAS program primarily for surveying, but with the added capability of asset inspection.
Hardware Selection and Evaluation
UAS hardware is a dynamic environment, with new technology and hardware being released daily. It is critical to define requirements and ensure that the hardware and software workflow is capable of efficiently achieving objectives. Challenging sites, such as mines, with steep vertical and dynamic typography necessitate a different approach than a relatively flat quarry. UAS equipment has a statistically higher attrition rate than other worksite equipment, so it is important to consider redundancy and recapitalization. Furthermore, we are experts at operational efficiency in the field with UAS and have uncovered many significant flaws in many of the commercially available UAS systems on the market. Many manufacturers are trying to be too much to too many, and limitations in their offerings are generally found after delivery if not carefully evaluated pre-purchase. Additional computing power and data storage also need to be considered and incorporated.
Safety Risk Assessment
We use a systematic approach: hazard identification, risk assessment, mitigation, and documentation. We blend best practices from aviation and your industry to ensure that flight operations are executed in circumstances that can be controlled with acceptable operational risk. This step dovetails with regulatory compliance, as waivers for certain types of operations may be required from the FAA. Aviation risk has many facets not typically recognized by managers in other industries.
Training, Documentation, and Standardization
Key to the safety and effectiveness of any mixed flying and software operation is a solid set of manuals and standardized operating procedures started from the beginning of the program. We have found that training is much more complicated than many clients expect. Operating the drone is just the start, however new software workflows that produce the deliverables need to be considered in any effective program.
For most adopters, regulatory compliance adds a new government agency’s rules that need to be understood and complied with. We analyze your program’s flight operations and ensure that is within the regulatory envelope. The regulations are intentionally restrictive, with a process for obtaining waivers which we can also draft and submit. It is important to get to this step early in the process since FAA waivers can take as long as 9 months to obtain. Typical waivers are granted for night operations and from a vehicle.