Managing Solar Panel Maintenance Using UAV Drones

Managing Solar Panel Maintenance Using UAV Drones

The damaging effects of fossil fuels have sparked a global pivot and motivated many to turn to alternative power sources in the hope of a brighter future. Photovoltaic technology is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable innovation that’s evolving fast, changing the renewable energy sector. Photovoltaic panels use specific cells to convert solar energy into an electron transfer through the photovoltaic effect. 

The need to maintain solar farms and photovoltaic plants in a timely and cost-effective manner has emerged as a top priority. Assessments of solar panels are now supported by cutting-edge drone assessment equipment, thermal and visual aerial audits, infrared imaging from the air, etc. Large photovoltaic facilities have been shown to benefit greatly from drone surveys. Drone-powered systems have provided useful, reliable, and high-resolution data, enabling PV systems to increase the operational effectiveness of their systems. 


Market Potential  

The aggregate growth of solar systems worldwide from 1992 to 2021 has been astounding. They developed from a small market of applications to a major power component. Investments and R&D for these types of renewable energy sources are at an all-time high and are expected to keep rising. 

Companies can maintain the value of their assets and the energy output by using solar panel inspection drones in the renewable energy sector to quickly and accurately inspect solar panels. On-site UAV technology instantaneously produces accurate, cost-effective, and real-time inspection data. 


Manual vs. Drone Inspection  

Despite the increase in solar panel evaluations, various examinations are still done by hand utilizing thermal cameras. Because they can clearly identify any production flaws, cracks, broken parts, malfunctioning bypass diodes, or even momentary shadowing on solar panels, thermal cameras are widely used. Although portable monitoring is sufficient, the strategy can be more effective by encouraging drone technology for solar farm inspections. Users enjoy improved data quality, safety, and time efficiency when they rely on drone imaging. The reasons why drone-powered solutions are more trustworthy inspection techniques than traditional/handheld processes include the following: 


Increased efficiency  

Drones capture data nearly 50 times faster than comparable manual methods, which makes them very cost-effective. Solar panel inspection drones equipped with thermal and RGB sensors can efficiently cover more ground to detect flaws than traditional operations because solar farms are typically built on large sites. Companies can monitor solar plants with a holistic model due to thermal mapping and RGB sensors, which are impossible with manual mapping. 


Improved Quality & Volume of Data 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are frequently used to support drone technology. Aerial assessments accurately complete jobs and avoid faults that human operations could miss. The procedure for gathering drone imagery can be repeated whenever necessary. Since drones can cover larger areas, cutting-edge technology enables massive amounts of data to be collected while preserving the data’s integrity. 


Avoiding Dangerous Working Hours 

Drone inspections provide a safer environment for surveying and monitoring solar farms. They avoid jeopardizing workers’ safety to carry out maintenance activities.  


Store, Track & Distribute Data 

Drone data can be saved on secure portals for future use and prompt reporting. The data can then be accessed through various devices for additional interpretation when needed. The data can also be used to identify trends for more thorough future decision-making.  


Drone Inspection Techniques  

Drones can be seen as a logical fit for photovoltaic power examinations when considering the potential of UAVs and the drawbacks of conventional inspection methods. The use of drone technology in the renewable energy sector has grown quickly. Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras collect precise thermal imaging and geospatial metadata. Functional airborne infrared imaging will overtake conventional visual and thermal examination. 

Several requirements regarding the specs of cameras, sensors, and other components must be met for drone-powered solar photovoltaic technologies to be useful. For instance, if conditions for RGB imaging are satisfied, such as taking aerial photographs vertically with a tilt that was optionally less than 3°, this results in relevant data. Strong winds and other unfavorable circumstances can seriously impair stability and solar ray reflections, changing the quality of RGB examinations. 

For thermal inspections, it’s recommended to use a thermal camera with sensitivity in the 8–14 m band and preferred thermal sensitivity below 0.08 K to detect minute temperature fluctuations, adequate photo voltaic irradiation level for a suitable thermal comparison (between 500–700 W/m2), a viewing angle of 5–60 ° for the thermal camera’s positioning, and no airflows. It’s also advised to fly UAVs in the morning or late at night to avoid casting undesired shadows on the panel’s surface.

Using precise visual monitoring systems and RGB imaging allows users to effectively identify problems, including fractures, delaminations, soiling, discolorations, and even panel corrosion.

To read more about Skygrid’s efforts to dive deeper into solar panel maintenance using UAV drones, visit us here. 

Safer, Faster, and Better Utility Pole Inspections with Drones

Utility Pole Inspections with Drones

Power line assessments are still frequently conducted on foot for several utilities. With over a million local distribution systems, this form of examination necessitates a lengthy process. Even with a workforce of thousands of individuals functioning continuously, using the human eye to acquire sensory information is time-consuming and subject to human error. 

The work is hazardous since auditors must use equipment like cable equipment (climbing and rappelling), ladders, and cranes to obtain a detailed look at everything that is required. Examiners are vulnerable to the environment while they work on scaffolds or cranes, which can increase the likelihood of an accident. 

The 180 million electric utility poles that cover the United States must be inspected and maintained more frequently as they get older and deteriorate. Because of this, several businesses are using drone management software to accomplish their tasks more quickly, economically, and effectively.  

Here are some ways that drones can improve and simplify the inspection of transmission poles, which are the ones that transmit low-voltage energy from substations to homes and other structures. 


Benefits of Using Drones for Power Line Inspection 


Increased Safety 

In conventional power line assessments, examiners usually climb upon cranes and use cord connections to scale poles. With drones, line examiners can stay on the ground while the drone operator scans the line, which reduces any safety risks. 

Reduced Work Time and Labor Costs 

According to conventional procedures, a group of skilled linemen must thoroughly check every connection in a given region to look for deterioration or other potential complications. By automating assessments with low operating costs, drone controlling and monitoring decreases man-hours and labor expenditures, saving between 30 and 50 percent of both time and funds.  

Access Hard-to-Reach Areas  

Drones can be used to observe vegetation development along electricity lines in difficult-to-reach places. These are adroit at landing, taking off in confined spaces, and maneuvering among impenetrable groves of trees. 

More Accurate Data with Reduced Complexity  

Inspectors are able to obtain better, more accurate figures than they would be through conventional techniques because UAVs make it simple to hover beside electrical cables while capturing high-quality images and videos. 


What Kind of Maps Can You Expect From a Power Line Inspection Drone?  


3D Model 

Commercial drones use oblique imagery captured while flying above overhead power lines to create 3D renderings using third-party software. It can be used to figure out how high the transmission line is above the land, how far away the nearest obstruction is, and how far one structure is from the other. 

3D Point Cloud 

A laser drone gathers a group of points known as a “Point Cloud” after obtaining the geographic information of each recorded point on an object’s surface. The point cloud is created by merging the concepts of laser measurement and computer vision, comprising three-dimensional coordinates (XYZ), laser reflection intensity, and color information. It can be applied to constructing and managing powerline 3D visuals as well as planning and creating routes. 

InfraRed Imaging  

In order to investigate the aberrant voltage and electrical resistance, an infrared drone can be employed to quantify the heat generated from overhead power lines. The maintenance and service staff can utilize it to find any potential issues. 


In Conclusion 

Drones are changing how inspections and assessments are conducted within various industries. This includes utility pole inspections. Deploying drones to examine electric poles can improve inspection accuracy and reduce the dangers and workplace risks.  

To read more about Skygrid’s efforts to dive deeper into the benefits of drones in utility pole inspections, visit us here. 

Revolutionizing Agriculture with Drones

Revolutionizing Agriculture with Drones with SkyGrid

The integration of technology with everyday operations has become commonplace across industries and sectors. Particularly, the drone industry has seen a steady and impressive rise in its implementation in various industries. One sector that has significantly benefited from the use of drones is agriculture. 

Advancements in drone technology have led to the development of much more efficient and varied agriculture strategies. As a result, farmers are able to enjoy their work differently through innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation systems. Operations such as surveillance, monitoring, and maintenance that are labor-intensive and time-consuming offer ideal conditions for drones to flourish. Precision farming can be achieved by drones faster and more accurately as well. Irrigation, field analysis, crop mapping, and monitoring are some of the tasks that have begun to rely on drone technology. 


Implementation of High-Tech Drones 

A combination of integrated hardware components and the latest software models are used to create technology such as drone sensors and cameras that have helped create the concept of smart farming. Smart farming has provided a sustainable and clean model of food production. 

Some of the more notable technologies that have improved drone technology, improving agricultural processes, in turn, are artificial intelligence, sensors, drone camera, and GPS. The resulting products help with monitoring, tracking, and inspection of farms. 

One example of how smart farming is more efficient than conventional farming is the capturing of data. Sensors are installed in drones that can record information about light, temperature, humidity, and soil conditions. 


Precision Farming 

 A 2019 definition by the International Society of Precision Agriculture defines precision agriculture as “a management strategy that gathers, processes and analyzes temporal, spatial and individual data and combines it with other information to support management decisions according to estimated variability for improved resource use efficiency, productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability of agricultural production.” 

Precision agriculture presents quality solutions for smart farming. Some of the major technologies that make up precision farming are: 

  • Automation systems 
  • Multispectral sensors 
  • Robotics 
  • Variable rate technology 
  • Fourth and fifth-generation mobile data transmission 
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) 


Monitoring Fields 

There are several factors and elements that need to be constantly and reliably monitored. A combination of ground-based drones and aerial-based drones has proven to be effective monitoring methods. Drone cameras are able to capture accurate information that can also be used to monitor progress and performance over a period of time. The implementation of drones for monitoring aids with tasks such as: 

  • Crop health assessments 
  • Crop monitoring 
  • Planting 
  • Field assessments 
  • Irrigation 

Additionally, factors such as wind speed, sunlight, moisture levels, and depth that need to be tracked can be done so much more easily using multispectral sensors that are present in drones. 

Efficient monitoring systems are extended to livestock farming as well. Large farms are more smoothly managed with the modern technologies drones are equipped with. The health and location of livestock can be monitored and recorded. This reduces the risks of loss due to diseases and other calamities that can often befall cattle. For instance, diseases can be picked up quickly, and affected cattle can be immediately separated to prevent further spreading. 

An added benefit of using automated monitoring systems for smart farming instead of relying on manual labor is the saved labor costs. 

According to the Agriculture Drone Market report by Reports and Insights, the global agriculture drone market in 2020 was estimated to be more than $1.3 billion. It’s expected to reach $10.5 billion by 2028, with a significant CAGR of 35.6%. The technological revolution is a necessary one for the agriculture sector. Amidst strained food production across the world and the problems posed by climate change, implementing intelligent technologies to combat these problems and devise more effective strategies to stay afloat is crucial. The drone industry provides these solutions for the agriculture sector on a major level. 

Skygrid has worked to provide solutions to the problems faced across numerous industries, including agriculture. To learn more about how we integrate the latest technologies into creating innovative drone technology, visit our website!

Real-Time Business Solutions Offered By Drones

Real-Time Business Solutions Offered By Drones

For many enterprises, drones function as a valuable asset. Drone technology continues to grow exponentially offering convenience, efficiency, and speed to adapt swiftly to dynamic business demands. In the future, drones will become significantly integrated into business logistics, providing valuable input and gathering data in an economical, innovative, and reliable way. Optimized drone management applications enhance the benefits of collected data, creating an effective and intelligent model for different businesses in data analysis and collection.  


Revolutionizing Businesses Through Drones 

The concept of drone solutions is a novel business idea. Initially, drone use was limited to the military. As time passed, the potential of drones became more salient, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration established the first commercial drone permit. By 2006, drones became a part of commerce and personal use. 

As the availability of drones increased, an uptick in demand for drone solutions rose with it. Many agriculture and industrial industries have started integrating drone solutions for monitoring and surveillance to increase the efficiency of data collection. 

Researchers continue to develop drone technology, tapping into the undiscovered potential while illustrating the business’ cutting-edge technology of drones to establish more benefits for different industrial sectors.  


Business Benefits of Drones  

Though the primary benefit of drones offers ease for data collection, other intricacies can be reflected upon while integrating them within business logistics and operations.  


Easy Search for Stocks in Warehouses 

The use of drones can extend to every stage of operations. This includes having access to areas that are usually difficult to reach. The smart surveillance cameras installed in drones can help warehouse employees, especially when searching for inventory in otherwise inaccessible areas. The additional benefit is that drones can be programmed to scan barcodes of various items to locate them without having to dismantle the packaging.  


Faster and Organized Inventory Audit  

The monotony that comes with auditing a business is inevitable. It consumes valuable time and effort and can hinder normal workplace functions. However, inventory auditing is essential for every business to extract financial statements and resource management strategies. 

Once a business establishes a drone solution for their organization, the rigorous effort required to audit the inventory is significantly reduced. Drones enable highly effective inspection through visual data collection so that employees do not have to examine every barcode individually. This also reduces the chances of accidents occurring during data collection since the employees are not responsible for accessing higher shelves. 


Map and Store Location  

Drones have become increasingly versatile. From providing comprehensive infrared information to reading the depths of areas, these smart machines can easily conduct extensive regional mapping.   

Dynamic drone monitoring allows businesses to capture aerial images and illustrate store locations, assisting them in mapping the essential areas that need foot traffic enhancement. This can increase customer awareness and the focus of the business.  


Cycle Counting Without Interruptions 

When integrating drones in a business, the company should have an application that is responsible for keeping track of the drone’s activities. This will help to streamline record keeping for surveillance, inspection, and monitoring. This will eliminate expensive cycle counting since the drone solution will innovatively and efficiently manage the complete process. 


Security and Surveillance 

Drones used in the military handled the security and surveillance of various regions. Though on a smaller scale, businesses can still utilize drones to gather information from unattainable views without being detected. These drone solutions will let business owners secure the boundaries to protect and watch over the business and its assets from a distance. This will make them more effective than CCTV cameras, which can only cover a limited area.  


In Conclusion  

Drone solutions are gaining popularity because of the various real-time benefits they can offer businesses by simplifying and automating data collection. Furthermore, integrating drones in a business can also boost performance by streamlining resources and managing logistically complex tasks, allowing employees to focus on other essential responsibilities. 

To read more about the various real-time drone business solutions that SkyGrid offers, visit us here.

Benefits of Software that Assist in Fleet Management

Drone Fleet Management

As the use of drones becomes more commonplace across industries for various crucial processes like deliveries and inventory management, the need for infallible drone fleet management is more urgent than ever. The evolution of technology such as artificial intelligence and blockchain has allowed for the introduction of comprehensive drone fleet management software that promises a lot more features than previous iterations.

Companies that rely on drones can track productivity and implement drone automation in tasks such as monitoring inventory, infrastructure inspections, remote sensing, and assessing overall productivity through this drone fleet management software. With the use of drone fleet management software, businesses can maximize their return on investment (ROI) and gain greater insights into their operations, as well as improve communications across their teams.

Advantages of Drone Fleet Management Software

High-quality software is able to offer better drone fleet management and improve operations in a number of ways.

Maintain an Organized System of Records

Drones are ideal for surveillance and inspection tasks. They can record data continuously over a long period of time, which provides companies the opportunity to pick up on trends and gain other insights through data analysis. However, the ability to do this with ease is only possible when the abundant data collected through drones is organized comprehensively.

The organization is a necessary part of drone fleet management. Drone fleet management requires precision which can only be accomplished well when the system of operations is organized. A crucial step to building and maintaining an organized system is creating a system of record for all kinds of fleet information. This includes data collected through inspections and surveillance, maintenance records, and documentation. Any data obtained through fleet operations need to be recorded within this comprehension system of record.

Remote Management

One of the biggest challenges in the drone industry is the control and management of drones in mid-operation. Previously, it was tough to control drones with a high enough degree of precision that warranted security and safety of operations. In addition to a lack of heightened visibility into operations, team communication was also subpar.

With the introduction of better systems and software that integrates the best of the latest technologies, this is less of an issue. Drone fleet management software creates a seamless medium of communication within and between. Employees can access real-time fleet information and use it to create and manage tasks effectively from anywhere. It also tackles the problems faced by drone operators by increasing visibility into operations. Drone operators can manage their tasks in real-time much more efficiently and remotely.

Better Compliance with FAA regulations

With drone operations gaining mainstream momentum, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) has been working to create regulations and guidelines to better control and manage the use of drones. To ensure the drone fleet’s best possible operations, complying with FAA’s regulations and requirements is imperative.

Regarding regulatory compliance, blockchain augmented with smart contracts can encode the airspace rules, such as flying below 400 feet during daylight hours, as mandatory parameters in a flight planning system.  Organizations can also use this technology to set additional company-wide safety standards for their commercial drone operations, such as flying with at least 20% battery life under 25 mph winds.  

The blockchain smart contracts automatically record information onto the ledger and execute the terms without human intervention. This approach helps automate compliance with the rules before flight authorization and during flight as airspace conditions change. It also helps ensure all drone operators associated with your organization are following the same rulebook.

Skygrid’s fleet management software improves the reliability and security of operations by employing artificial intelligence to predict, diagnose and optimize fleet performance. As the fleet increases in size, maintaining a standard or quality can become difficult without the proper fleet management software. Predictive AI technology can identify and resolve issues before they limit productivity and cause operations to stutter.


Skygrid has been a pioneer in the drone industry, combining the best of what technology has to offer, to develop solutions to problems faced in the drone industry. To learn more about how we can help improve your fleet management, visit us here!

Drone Fleet Management Best Practices

Drone Fleet Management

Fleet management is key to an organization’s success, and when done well, it can boost a company’s profitability. The advancement of technologies has helped introduce many new and improved methods for better fleet efficiency, but many organizations have yet to move past outdated management techniques. Paper, spreadsheets, and other manual methods are unproductive and result in disorganization that can adversely affect operations. 

Drone fleet efficiency can be maximized by devising a strategy that focuses on visibility and collaboration. Leveraging software allows fleet managers to maximize productivity and make the most out of the data they have. Here are some methods to improve fleet management across an entire operation. 


Make the Best of What Technology Has to Offer 

The implementation of technology has improved processes and connections across industries and the world at large, and the drone industry is certainly not exempt. Many drones now come with collision-detection sensors, which lower risk by reducing the skills required to avoid a crash and guard against human error. Another new sensor detects and avoids nearby airplanes and helicopters. By leveraging technology for fleet management, the entire team behind the operation can stay connected in real-time. This helps make the most informed decision at every moment during a flight operation. 

It’s also not realistic to expect humans to track an entire drone fleet’s performance and maintenance records. Instead, fleet management software can apply artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to generate service logs, predict maintenance needs and automate fleet distribution, enabling drone operators and managers to intelligently assess, diagnose and optimize vehicle performance across their entire fleet. 


Develop a Comprehensive General Operating Manual 

It’s no surprise that a general operating manual also decreases risk. By ensuring that every team and pilot follows the standard operating procedures for every flight, you decrease the variables that lead to human error and establish a strong bedrock of accountability. 

A general operating manual should contain checklists and procedures concerning pilot training, equipment handling, maintenance, setup of the flight area, flight planning, regulatory information, data management, and anything else pertinent to your drone operations. 


Keep Detailed and Centralized Records 

Managing fleet data across different systems can be tricky. Fleet management software relieves the fleet managers and their team from this burden by integrating fleet solutions and providing an organized view of the fleet data. 

Centralized fleet data is much more useful as the time that would otherwise be spent sorting through the data and trying to make sense of it is reduced. A comprehensive view of data offered by fleet management software allows the team to analyze the data better and derive key insights from it faster. 

In this new environment, we also need a way to analyze drone flight records with assurances the data hasn’t been altered or maliciously tampered with. Blockchain technology can ensure flight logs are stored securely and accurately. Each flight log is linked to the previous log with cryptography, so they can’t be altered retroactively. This data can be offboarded from the aircraft rapidly and can’t be overwritten, enabling authorities to determine a sequence of events with 100% certainty. 


Manage Your Drone Fleet Remotely 

One of the biggest factors contributing to the success and efficiency of fleet management is constant communication between team members. A well-designed drone fleet management system connects the office and field. Each team member is constantly up to date with the condition of the flight and with one another. By streamlining communication and drone operations through software, you can stay connected to your team and manage your entire fleet remotely. 


Automate Maintenance Workflows 

When it comes to monitoring your vehicle health, predictive AI technology can remove the burden on operators by analyzing sensor data across your fleet and flagging suboptimal operations. An AI-based approach can more accurately monitor performance to forecast vehicle health and identify impending failures before they occur.  

If a potential issue is identified, such a degrading battery, AI technology can automatically generate a maintenance request and assign the request to a technician upon landing at a facility. Blockchain technology, augmented with smart contracts, can also be used to ensure the maintenance request is resolved and signed off by a technician’s private key before the drone can operate again. 

Organizations need to implement the latest technologies into their fleet management process to see the best results in terms of efficiency, as well as increased profits. Our platform optimizes fleet activity and performance by predicting maintenance needs and automating fleet distribution to facilities. Using AI algorithms, we analyze drone sensor data and activity history to provide real-time visibility into vehicle health, flag suboptimal performance, identify impending failures and automate fleet distribution. Our system also uses blockchain to audit operational data and safeguard unsafe vehicles from performing missions until maintenance issues have been resolved. 


SkyGrid has focused on various technologies such as AI to create optimized fleet management systems. Visit Skygrid to learn more. 

UAV Advantages and Disadvantages

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have created great ease in a number of operations and across various industries. The integration of the latest technologies has allowed for higher levels of reliability and a more reassuring degree of trust in the use of UAVs.

Advantages of UAV Drones  

One of the biggest reasons for the widespread use of drones is their ability to traverse and maneuver through areas that would be dangerous for humans to be in. Oil and gas refineries, pipelines, and flare stacks are examples where drones can be used to monitor the location for potential hazards and notify the relevant authorities if threatening conditions are detected. 

Apart from taking on dangerous tasks, drones can also monitor areas that do not necessarily pose a risk to human workers. Still, the reliance on human workers can add a considerable margin of error and accuracy. Drone automation shows potential for reducing this risk of error. 

For instance, the railway inspection system has been greatly improved by implementing drones. Now routine procedures such as defect detections and crack detections, both of which demand close attention to detect accurately, can be picked up on more quickly. Unlike humans, drones do not tire so inspections can be carried out more frequently, adding to the safety, dependability, and performance of railways. 

For industrial processes, precision is a need. UAVs employ the Global Positioning System (GPS) to be guided to the desired locations more accurately. The agriculture industry uses drones to carry out operations such as pesticide spraying, crop assessments, field soil analysis, and crop health monitoring. These operations require controlled precision of the area over which the operation is conducted. By using drones with the appropriate GPS built into their software, farmers are able to carry out these operations in a cost and time-effective manner. 

The ease with which drones can be operated and deployed has allowed users from a wide range of backgrounds, technical or not, to use drones. Over the years, the range of drones available has also become quite extensive. The availability of low-cost drones that are easily controllable is perhaps one of the reasons that drones have become mainstream. Operators do not need an extensive technical background to navigate a drone securely. 

With the use of technology such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, drones are now backed up with a secure and reliable system. With this heightened safety, drones are now used for high stake roles regarding security. Drones can be used to provide surveillance and security to organizations. This reliability also makes it useful in recovery and disaster missions.

Disadvantages of UAV

Although UAVs have become increasingly complex and efficient by using the latest advancements in technology, there is room to grow. 

One major concern that has increased as drones make it to mainstream use is privacy. UAVs can be hijacked or manipulated. They can also trespass into authorized areas such as airports and military zones. While convenient surveillance is an advantageous use of drones, it can become a disadvantage with severe consequences when done by third parties. While there have been measures taken, such as geofencing to restrict the movement of UAVs into authorized zones, there is still more to be done to secure public security and individuals’ privacy. 

These privacy risks are extended as fears of hacking are present with unmanned aircraft. The central control system of the drone can be attacked, and hackers can take over control of the drone. Private information can be extracted and then corrupted or completely damaged.  

Much has been done to increase the accuracy of control of drones within the ever-changing complexity of the airspace. This control becomes even more important when drones are used in heavily-populated areas. Drones need to operate at a level that eliminates the risk of harm to surrounding infrastructures and people.

The Growing Popularity of Drones

Despite the disadvantages, unmanned vehicles such as drones have become increasingly popular. The advancements in technological fields such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have allowed for the development of drone systems with upgraded and refined systems that provide greater security, safety, and efficiency to make drone missions more successful. 


SkyGrid has been a pioneer in developing drone systems with the best technology. Curious to read about how SkyGrid is solving the biggest industry challenges? Click here! 

Drone Automation Made Easy with SkyGrid Flight Control

Drone automation made easy with SkyGrid Flight Control

Drones have been the subject of interest in recent times for the convenience, flexibility, and efficiency they offer. More than that, their potential to possibly revolutionize certain processes, businesses, and industries has been apparent. They assess hurricane damage, deliver aid to devastated areas, inspect pipelines to prevent leaks in the oil and gas industry, and they have been used to develop reliable railway inspection systems.  

However, planning, executing, and adapting a flight within the complexity of the airspace is no easy task, and relying on manual effort could prove to be a mistake. After all, humans are error-prone. Drone automation is critical to scale operations safely and enable more advanced missions. 

At SkyGrid, we’re solving this challenge with a smarter drone solution that automates every phase of flight. Our free SkyGrid Flight Control app makes it easy to generate flight plans, get auto-approval to fly, and autonomously execute the mission. 

Check out a quick overview of our drone automation capabilities and read on for more details. 

How does SkyGrid automate drone operations?  

In our recent posts, we explored how SkyGrid Flight Control simplifies the flight approval process by integrating LAANC directly into the flight planning workflow. That means drone operators can seamlessly plan their mission, ensure their flight meets all LAANC criteria, and get auto-approval to fly. Rather than planning a mission after LAANC authorization, this approach ensures that all requirements are checked before you take flight. 

We also explored how SkyGrid Flight Control enables operators to automatically generate mission plans based on the flight parameters, such as the start and end time, altitude, speed, and distance between sweeps. Once the mission plan is finalized, our app allows operators to autonomously launch their drone, perform the pre-defined flight plan, and get real-time insights. 

More specifically, operators can take the following actions during flight: 

  • Autonomously execute single and multi-objective missions. 
  • Monitor your drone’s real-time camera feed. 
  • View real-time mission progress as you execute a flight plan. 
  • Pause and resume your mission. 
  • Take photos and videos during the flight. 
  • View native control functions, like camera settings, speed, heading and more. 

For example, gathering rapid situational awareness is crucial in search and rescue (SAR) situations. The faster rescue teams can locate a missing or injured person and coordinate a ground team response; the more likely the operation will result in a positive outcome. SkyGrid optimizes the distribution of drones over a defined space, calculating the most efficient routes for a vehicle within a given time frame. Drone operators can either define the area they wish to survey and the size of their fleet to determine the time necessary to survey a site or define the area and time required for a survey to determine the optimal search pattern to complete a mission.  

Operators also have the option to manually take control of the flight at any point in time during an automated mission. For example, during a pipeline inspection, an operator may identify an object of interest in the live video feed and take control to inspect the object more closely. 

Drone automation for pipeline inspection

Drone automation made easy for commercial pilots. 

We’re using AI and blockchain to interpret complex airspace, environment and vehicle data, solving the industry’s biggest challenges in executing autonomous drone operations and integrating unmanned aircraft into rapidly changing airspace. 

SkyGrid uses AI to uncover previously invisible characteristics hidden in airspace, vehicle, and location data to more intelligently monitor, route, synchronize and maintain unmanned operations. In addition to ingesting unique data feeds, such as cellular connectivity maps and ground-based traffic patterns, SkyGrid fills a former unsolved gap in airspace information by including real-time drone sensor data in our understanding of airspace. 

Our AI algorithms can analyze crucial data, such as drone sensor data and activity history, to provide visibility into vehicle health, aircraft performance and required maintenance. This helps us identify performance issues before they jeopardize the safety of people, infrastructure and other aircraft around them. 

We use blockchain to provide next-generation security and auditability, safeguarding the integrity of unmanned flight data and encoding airspace rules into flight operations as mandatory flight parameters. Airspace boundaries, thresholds, and safety parameters are encoded as blockchain rules to mandate compliance. All information transmitted through our system, including flight plans and historical logs, is tamper-proof and can never be altered. Past flight and service logs are easily accessible with telemetry data on when and where each flight occurred. 

SkyGrid is a unified platform that provides frictionless, end-to-end services for the drone ecosystem. Our integrated system enables everything from airspace management to fleet operations, offering a single platform that continuously monitors, predicts, and adapts to changing regulatory dynamics, aircraft performance, and location information, enabling a new degree of autonomy. 

Ultimately, we simplify drone operations with more automation in one application for pilots and enterprises. Rather than using several different apps to find up-to-date weather and environmental information, get LAANC approval, plan flights, and execute missions, SkyGrid Flight Control provides a complete solution to automate flight authorization, planning, and execution.  


Download SkyGrid Flight Control for free in the Apple App Store. You can also check our advanced enterprise features for more complex commercial drone operations.