Under blue skies: how to use drones in construction, finance and media

Drone remains the most affordable airborne sensor in the world - they help businesses apply analytics

data to automate many processes.And the Swedish electric car brand has even made it a major competitive advantage. The Polestar O2 concept is equipped with a drone that automatically accompanies the electric car, and the video from it is launched and edited directly from the central display of the car. But drones can be used in dozens of areas.

Business uses drones, even if not socinematic, but definitely more useful and effective. Construction, mining, agriculture, logistics, medicine use drones in monitoring, tillage, logistics, and even warehouse inventory; thanks to this, the total commercial drone market amounted to $2.3 billion.

We will understand the application of aerial monitoring technology, taking into account all the costs and benefits.

Aeromonitoring expenses

  • Drone — from 230,000 rubles for DJI Phantom 4 PRO* to2 402 500 for Geoscan 201 Geodesy (*unfortunately, DJI has suspended its work in Russia, the price is for the purchase of this model in Kazakhstan. The price for Geoscan is current. It was not greatly affected by currency fluctuations and logistical gaps, since this is a Russian company)
  • Engineer / pilot - from 50,000 to 150,000 rubles per month.
  • Photogrammetry software (like Pix4D) - from $291 per month (22,000 rubles).
  • Civil liability insurance policy - from 1,000 to 100,000 per drone per year, depending on its weight and cost.
  • Pilot training - from 7,000 to 40,000 rubles.
  • Data processing engineer - from 65,000 to 140,000 rubles per month.
  • Elimination of problems with software, hardware and airspace - from 60,000 to 200,000 rubles per month.

Such an impressive list of expenses can immediatelypush away the business owner, but, for example, losses in construction for a day of downtime of a large facility amount to 10 million rubles. This is so much more than a missed day of filming a feature film. The drone as an element of business process automation makes the project more profitable by 15%, eliminates the human factor, and thanks to aerial photographic monitoring, the communication process between project participants is 8 times more efficient — such conclusions can be drawn based on thousands of cases in Russia and the United States — as in development as well as in industrial construction. For example, with the help of drones and a web platform, it was possible to save 180 million rubles when designing the Amur gas processing plant of Gazprom.

Registering a Drone

Drones are regulated by two newDecrees of the Government of the Russian Federation: No. 658 of 09/27/19 (rules for registering a drone) and No. 74 of 02/03/20 (rules for the use of airspace, RTI). The first step after purchasing a UAV is to register the device with the Federal Air Transport Agency (FAVT). After the drone is entered into the portal for registering unmanned aerial vehicles of the Federal Air Transport Agency or registered on the website of the State Services, it will be assigned a license plate. The pilot needs to attach it to the body of the drone.

Penalty for flying a drone without identification numberis 2.5 thousand rubles. To fly in Moscow, a city of federal significance, you first need to obtain permission from the Department of Regional Security and Anti-Corruption. It may take up to 24 business days to obtain a permit. The pilot must also analyze the situation on the flight plan website before launch: whether the territory belongs to a prohibited zone or a zone with restricted flights. If a drone flight is planned in populated areas, then permission from local authorities is added to the list of approvals.

Separate photo/video permission

In addition to infrastructure and registration costsdevices, it is worth knowing that every drone flight in Russia requires approval from the FSB, the General Staff, the headquarters of the military district, the ATM, the FSO and the administration of the locality (depending on the launch site). This is due to the fact that the drone is equated to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is subject to the entire “prohibitive” regulation on the use of airspace in the field of state secrets, security and defense of the country. This instruction was developed in the 90s. The document is secret, and permission for familiarization also requires additional approval. When developing the instructions, no one could have imagined that drones would be created in the future that would go beyond military use. This is precisely the reason for the difficulties in the modern application of Soviet legislative regulations. It used to be convenient - the drone is used in the presence of a representative who has all the permissions.

Therefore, permission for photography and video filming must be obtained from several government agencies:

  • General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
  • Operational Directorate of the Military District Headquarters
  • Territorial security agencies of the FSB

Also, flights and shooting are excluded in the vicinity and over objects:

  • Buildings, military units, training grounds and other structures of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
  • Military-defense facilities (cities, ships, harbors, etc.)
  • Factories and other defense enterprises

In the United States, the principle of coordination is arranged differently, it is notis prohibitive and reduces the time spent on organizing a drone launch: registration of the owner and the device itself with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is required. Registration fee for 3 years is $5. The main distinction is in the purpose of shooting: whether the drone is launched for commercial purposes. If the UAV owner does not plan to sell photo and video content and does not receive a fee for the flight, then he does not need a pilot's license. If flying for commercial purposes, a Remote Pilot Certificate (Part 107) is required. Last year, for the first time, American Robotics companies issued a permit for fully automated drone flights for commercial purposes.

Drone behavior in extremely cold conditions

In aviation, there is a rule not to fly below -30 ºC,if it does not apply to civil air traffic. As for industrial construction, starting from -43 ºC, any hydraulic transport stops working and production temporarily stops.

In the case of a UAV, it cannot be launched into precipitation,at temperatures below -30 ºC and wind gusts over 10 m/s. Also, the drone does not fly in dew point conditions, when the vapor in the air turns into a liquid and freezes. In the case of flying in such conditions, frozen drops of ice appear on the wings and on the UAV camera, which makes it impossible both to shoot and launch itself (aerodynamic properties deteriorate, balance is disturbed).

Who will benefit the most from aerial monitoring technology?

British analysts at PwC (not to be confused with British scientists) predict that by 2030 there will be three areas that will receive the greatest savings through the introduction of drones.

  • Technology media and telecommunications (4.9 billion pounds)

For example, Samsung tested artificialdrone-based intelligence to optimize 5G network performance. The solution automatically measures the rotation and tilt of the antenna, improves the safety of the tower lift and the efficiency of network maintenance.

  • Financial and insurance services (£4.1bn)

Sber has tested drones for money delivery:the drone remotely delivered cash from the cash desk to the collector on a perimeter of about 10 km. It was reported that the drone was flying at speeds of over 180 km per hour. According to experts, the average flight time of a drone in a metropolis can be 20-30 minutes.

  • Construction and manufacturing (3.5 billion pounds)

Etalon Group saved 4.1 million rubles fromusing aerial monitoring technology. Through the web platform, control and analysis of construction and installation work was carried out at the areal and high-rise facilities of the sites of Moscow projects (the territory of ZIL-South and the residential island of Central Park). The creation of a design BIM model on an area of ​​140 hectares took 3-5 days. These savings have been achieved by controlling the volume and quality of work carried out on site.

Companies building and operating a largeinfrastructure such as roads, railroads, bridges, dams, reservoirs, airports, industrial complexes, oil and gas enterprises and energy complexes have significant potential to use drones to optimize their operations. For example, a 7 km long road section can be filmed in one UAV flight. In the traditional "field" way, an identical task may take more than 5 days. Drones are also indispensable for quarry surveyors and other professionals who are in close proximity to large mining equipment in operation, and this requires special attention to safety.

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