Friday, 14 May 2021

Drone Pilot Jobs

It isn’t easy becoming a drone pilot 


About every person who purchases a drone, imagines that he or she can start a business to fly drones full time. Unfortunately, therefore, nearly every drone owner is a potential competitor. There are job opportunities for qualified drone pilots if you have the right skill set. 


Drone Pilot Jobs

So far as one-off drone assignments, these are in short supply - the pandemic has restricted events, weddings and family gatherings - hopefully, as more people get vaccinated, in time we will attract more drone assignments.


In the USA, there are more manufacturers and opportunities. For example, real estate agents may require aerial footage of homes to show the extent of the plot, whereas in the UK, homes are far smaller, with less scope or demand for estate agency work. Having said that, the pandemic lockdowns have resulted in the need for virtual viewings, and drone pilots can exploit this opportunity by expanding their services with use of equipment such as Matterport Technology.


My advice to new drone pilots is to consider the many different applications for drone technology and to specialise in certain area - see Drone Applications for examples.


To make it as a drone pilot, in addition to photography and video skills, you will need the following:


Adaptability - to persist and get around obstacles, overcome hurdles. 

Business skills - you may be a brilliant pilot, but can you run a business? Do you set an hourly rate to include travel time, consider equipment purchase and depreciation costs? 

Customers - pandemic lockdowns have seen cancellation of weddings and events.

Equipment - Drones, Photo / Video and post flight footage editing software.

Experience - It takes time and perseverance to pilot, and then process photography and video footage.

Expertise - There are a number of different commercial applications with specific drone technologies.

Insurance - Check out companies such as Flock Insurance 

Marketing skills - How will you promote yourself effectively? Do you have printed business cards to hand out at weddings and events? Do you use social media to promote your business? Have you joined FaceBook groups to target wedding, events and media companies?  


Optimism - and perseverance.

Permission - to operate in specific areas.

Qualifications - in country of residence/ operation.

Security clearance - For many jobs within the drone industry.

Specialisation - there are many niche applications

Work Permits - to operate where you wish to work. 


Sunday, 13 December 2020

Real Estate Technology

 How Covid is changing real estate property sales


Covid lockdown restrictions have had a significant impact on property sales. Many people now seriously question the way they live. 


Value for Money


If you can work from home, why live near the city, if rural properties are more affordable? How many more square feet of living space do you get in the country compared to apartment living in the city?


Less Stress


Why put up with the stress of commuting when some travellers refuse to wear covid safe face masks? If more people could work at home in a stress free environment, surely this would be better for the planet? Less commuting generates less pollution and CO2, right?


Changing Trends


Estate agents have witnessed an overnight shift in property desirability. Apartments in cities close to train and underground stations may now be less popular that rural properties with broadband internet connection. 


Quality of Life


Rural locations can offer a safer and higher quality of life for families; inner city environments can suffer from more crime.


Viewing Property - Solutions during Covid


Covid lockdowns have made property viewings more difficult, but technology is at hand to help people communicate (Zoom) and view properties. Estate agents now use drone technology to market rural homes. 


Drone images and videos


Professional agents are likely to employ professional drone companies, due to the legal, licensing, equipment, post processing skills, training and insurance requirements. Drone videography is useful to show the extent of the grounds, and how a property sits within the neighbourhood and local environment, as the example below shows. To find a qualified drone pilot visit https://www.finddronepilot.net 




 



As lockdowns have deterred vendors and buyers from viewing homes, 3D virtual tour technology is now available to make viewing easier. 


Matterport technology allows prospective clients to see properties in 3D, so clients can stand out from the competition and provide an immersive experience that is not possible with photos or 360 tours. For more information, visit Matterport





Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Drones delivering Covid-19 Vaccines

Delivering Covid-19 Vaccines by Drone

Drone manufacturers, distribution companies, and investors are getting pretty excited about how drones can help roll out COVID-19 vaccines to remote areas. Drones can play an important role in vaccine distribution but many hurdles have yet to be overcome. Factors such as restrictive regulations, drone range, battery life, and payload capability.  

This article explores the challenges ahead. 


Mission Impossible?


With 7,824,507, 900 people and counting on the planet, rolling out a vaccine for everyone might take some time. 260,000 are born every day. Check out the world population site below to understand the task ahead. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/


Logistical nightmare


Not only do we quickly need to distribute Covid-19 vaccines to everyone on the planet, but we also need to distribute them in cold storage - AstraZeneca has suggested their vaccine would need the regular cold chain between 2C and 8C. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine would need ultra-cold chain - storage at -80C before being distributed. 


The WHO, UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MFS / Doctors Without Borders), already have effective vaccination programmes in place around the world with the so called "cold chain" facilities - cooler trucks and solar fridges to keep vaccines at the right temperature as they travel from factory to field. However, many countries lack facilities - Burkina Faso in central Africa is already short of about 1000 clinical fridges. Unicef aimed to have 65,000 solar-powered cold fridges installed in low-income countries by the end of 2021.


UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke of the "mammoth logistical operation" of transporting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from its point of manufacture to the arm of the patient. That's because it cannot be removed from a temperature of -70C (-94F) more than four times.

And that temperature is much lower than what the average home freezer can reach. Most other vaccines do not require anywhere near such low storage temperatures, so there is not a widespread infrastructure already in place. In its own disclosure notice, Pfizer acknowledges there are "challenges related to our vaccine candidate's ultra-low temperature formulation and attendant storage, distribution and administration requirements".


How will Covid-19 vaccines travel?


Pfizer has a plan. The vaccine will be distributed from its own centres in the US, Germany and Belgium. It will need to travel both on land and by air, face potential storage in distribution centres in between stages and the final hurdle will be local delivery to clinics, surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals - anywhere the vaccine will be administered.


As revealed by the Wall Street Journal, Pfizer has developed a special transport  reuseable box the size of a suitcase, packed with dry ice and installed with GPS trackers, which can keep up to 5,000 doses of the vaccine at the right temperature for 10 days, as long as it remains unopened. 


How heavy will the special transport boxes with 5,000 doses weigh? What quantity of doses will drones be able to carry, and over what distances, and time periods, according to battery life technology?


Lift it and shift it


Drones, UAV or autonomous aircraft?


Windracers have been delivering medicines and health equipment to offshore islands in the UK.  - https://www.windracers.org  Their UAV is specifically designed for aid delivery in crisis countries. They aim to carry 100 kgs of aid, over 1,000 km range.


So how will we vaccinate everyone from Coronavirus?


Getting vaccines to people in third world countries will create great challenges, to deliver medicines over great distances, in sparsely populated areas. Not only are roads very difficult to navigate, in many areas of the world, conflicts and terrorists can disrupt aid distribution. In 2014, according to the World health Organisation, the number of Polio infected children had already reached 115 in Pakistan due to the  Pakistani Taliban’s propaganda campaign against receiving polio vaccinations. Will the Taliban allow Covid-19 vaccinations to take place?


Drone companies such as Zipline are already doing great work in Africa, in Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, also in India and The Philippines. In the US, Zipline is establishing a site in Reno, Nevada to service seven hospitals to help with medical logistics in rural areas.  The drone cruises at a speed of 101 km/h (63 mph), ensuring deliveries are within 45 minutes, and can carry up to 1.75 kilograms (3.9 lb) of cargo. see   https://flyzipline.com 


Will every country get vaccines?


COVAX: Ensuring global equal access to COVID-19 vaccines.


COVAX has been created to maximise our chances of successfully developing COVID-19 vaccines and manufacture them in the quantities needed to end this crisis, and help to distribute the vaccines to poorer countries. See video below.



 


Autonomous planes


Given the magnitude of the distribution problem, will drones have sufficient payload lifting capacity to deliver vaccines that need to be transported in special cold conditions? Will drones have sufficient battery power for adequate range? 


Reliable Robotics


Aviation firm Reliable Robotics run by former Tesla and SpaceX engineers is developing self-flying planes and just taught a cargo plane how to land on its own. A Cessna 172 piston aircraft was first used to prove the concept viable with an entirely autonomous gate-to-gate flight performed in 2019. https://reliable.co 


Payload versus pilot


If the typical pilot weighs 150 pounds in weight, cutting out the pilot in an autonomous flight will increase the payload and number of vaccines that the aeroplane can carry. 


Which distribution companies are investing in drone technology?


Large distribution companies such as UPS, Amazon, Walmart, Tesco are conducting trials to deliver food and medicines by drone. 


UPS Flight Forward, CVS To Launch Residential Drone Delivery Service In Florida Retirement Community To Assist In Coronavirus Response.


https://www.ups.com/us/en/services/shipping-services/flight-forward-drones.page 



Amazon Prime Air is a service that will deliver packages up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less using small drones. They have established Prime Air development centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, France and Israel, and are testing vehicles in multiple international locations.


https://www.amazon.com/b?node=8037720011 


Walmart admit that that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone. They admit that drone delivery still feels like a bit of science fiction, but they are a point where they are learning more and more about the technology that is available and how it can be used it to make customers’ lives easier.


https://corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2020/09/09/walmart-now-piloting-on-demand-drone-delivery-with-flytrex 


Will regulators hinder drone technology?


Regulators are perhaps taking a more positive view of drone technology, but sadly cannot keep up with product developments. We may have the technology, but regulators are restricting the use of drones. We accept the need for having regulations in place to ensure safe drone operations, but we also need to distribute vaccines to 7.8 billion people.


BVLOS Beyond Visual Line of Sight Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is the most talked about thing in the drone industry. Countries around the world are amending their drone policies so that they can allow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight for maximum efficiency. Unlike VLOS flights, which are operated within the pilot’s line of sight, BVLOS flights are flown beyond the visual range. BVLOS capabilities enable a drone to cover far greater distances. While BVLOS flight is already legal in some countries with certain restrictions, it is not yet allowed in the United States without a hard-to-get waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To date, more than 1200 BVLOS waiver applications have been submitted by commercial drone operators. Of these, 99% have failed to earn a permit.


Which drone manufacturers have solutions to offer?


Drone technology supports rapid and flexible delivery of temperature-sensitive medicines. But regulations, flight time, payload, battery life, special cold storage requirements are all factors and restrictions to overcome. 


Wing 


Wing claim to have developed an air delivery service that’s faster, safer, and more ecologically friendly than what’s possible today on the ground.   https://x.company/projects/wing/ 


Flytrex   


Flytrex is working diligently to push innovation and the use of drone delivery technology to make a positive impact globally. They are taking advantage of their technology to rapidly deliver essential goods, and are partnering with a growing number of towns and counties world-wide to deploy sterilized drone-based stations and offer delivery of essentials. https://www.flytrex.com


Flirtey  


In April 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Flirtey a critical patent for the safe and precise drone delivery of packages. https://www.flirtey.com   


Matternet    


Matternet's urban drone logistics platform to be deployed in Tokyo and utilized to assess drone delivery opportunities in Japan. https://mttr.net


Volansi 


Volansi has launched a drone delivery program to deliver medicines in rural North Carolina. Volansi’s drone system to enable the delivery of routine medicines from Merck manufacturing facility to patients at Vidant Healthplex-Wilson as the first phase of a project to learn about drone technology’s use in the healthcare supply chain. https://volansi.com


Drone Delivery Canada


Drone Delivery Canada view Drone delivery as a disruptive technology.  Drones offer a more cost-effective way to deliver cargo by minimising shipping times and reducing operational and overhead costs.  https://dronedeliverycanada.com 


Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has completed its first delivery by drone to a village near Baiyang Lake in Northern China’s Hebei province.


China’s largest private courier, SF Express, used drones to transport 70 kgs of medical supplies to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital in China’s Hubei province.


In Summary


Drones need less regulations, faster regulator response, heavier payload capability, better power technology for longer range. 

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Drone Applications

Welcome to our Site

What we do


1/. We supply commercial drone systems, so if you have a specific need, please contact us via the contact form. 
2/. We also find drone pilots for specific jobs, and for employment with drone manufacturers and operators. 
3/. We also supply drone insurance. 

To register as a drone pilot, visit Find Drone Pilot


How are drones used for different applications?

Agriculture


An agricultural drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle used to help optimize agriculture operations, increase crop production, and monitor crop growth. Growers are using drone imagery to monitor crop health, forecast yields, verify stand establishment, and run a myriad of other analytic reports, all at the click of a button. Sensors and digital imaging capabilities can give farmers a richer picture of their fields. Using an agriculture drone and gathering information from it may prove useful in improving crop yields and farm efficiency.


Agricultural drones let farmers see their fields from the sky. This bird's-eye view can reveal many issues such as irrigation problems, soil variation, and pest and fungal infestations. Multispectral images show a near-infrared view as well as a visual spectrum view. The combination shows the farmer the differences between healthy and unhealthy plants, a difference not always clearly visible to the naked eye. Thus, these views can assist in assessing crop growth and production.


Additionally, the drone can survey the crops for the farmer periodically to their liking. Weekly, daily, or even hourly, pictures can show the changes in the crops over time, thus showing possible “trouble spots”. Having identified these trouble spots, the farmer can attempt to improve crop management and production.


See more at https://www.droneapplications.uk/p/agriculture.html 


Antenna Testing


QuadSAT is a Denmark-based company that supplies airborne antenna testing solutions. QuadSAT’s system combines advanced drone technology with a custom RF pointing payload. As a compact system, it is transported directly to the antenna and flies in a pattern to simulate a satellite, resulting in a cost-effective, operationally flexible, cost and timesaving solution of testing antennas. 


See more at https://www.droneapplications.uk/p/antenna-testing.html


Avalanche Rescue Drone


Searching for avalanche victims is time critical, thermal cameras help identify the presence of a heat source. Rescue drones have a built-in loudspeaker to guide rescuers, to guide them safely to locate victims by GPS.


See more at https://www.droneapplications.uk/2020/09/avalanche-rescue-drone.html


Construction


Drones that exploit infrared, geo-locating and thermal sensors help map construction sites. Created 3D assist during the pre-construction phase, aid presentations to customers to allow them to appreciate site potential.



Drone technology can:

Reduce time and costs

Lower risks

Provide accurate data.

Monitor progress

Calculate inventory

Map the site and road infrastruture

Aid communications

Digitise Site.

Help technology adopters become more competitive.

Increase efficiency.


Counter-Drone Technology


Investors recently endorsed US Dedrone's Counter-Drone Technology product and business model to the tune of $12.1 million US, or £9.1M, in funding.


Case Study - 


Stopping Drone Contraband at Kentucky Department of Corrections, Kentucky Department of Corrections is getting ahead of drone threats, including contraband delivery and spying, with Dedrone technology. “The presence of a drone and any kind of disturbance resulting from that is a major threat not only to the safety of the staff that work in the facility but also to the offender population that live in the facility,” shares Coleman Morrell, a leader in the Emergency Management team at Kentucky DOC. 


See more at  https://www.droneapplications.uk/p/counter-drone-technology.html


Drones delivering vaccines in Vanuatu


First drone delivery of vaccines on the island nation of Vanuatu UNICEF - Baby Joy has become the first person to receive a vaccination delivered by a commercial drone in Vanuatu.

See more at https://www.droneapplications.uk/2020/09/drones-delivering-vaccines-in-vanuatu.html


Drone Delivering Medicines in Brazil


Speedbird Aero has won regulatory approval in Brazil to operate two experimental drone delivery routes in Brazil, to deliver medicines to remote areas. With over 30 million people living in rural areas, drones are useful when ambulances are out of reach due to poor road conditions or remote areas. Or when blood and antidotes need to be delivered quickly.

Contact us for more details.


House Inspection


Skydio House Scan enables home insurance agents to automatically perform accurate inspection of residential homes safely and without the need to become expert drone pilots. With one tap of the pilot's screen, the drone will generate a coarse map of the rooftop, identify individual facets, and take overlapping photos from one meter away from the rooftop. The result is a 3D scan with full, high-resolution coverage. While great strides have been made in autonomous photogrammetry data capture by companies like DroneDeploy and Pix4D, HouseScan is a good reminder that nothing on Earth flies like a Skydio. 


See more at https://www.droneapplications.uk/p/house-inspection.html 



Saturday, 26 September 2020

Police Drone Success

Derbyshire Police celebrate success one year after the force's 24/7 drone capability went live.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Drone Battery Storage and Care

With the colder seasons approaching, many of us will be flying less. Proper care and storage of your aircraft batteries are extremely important. According to Jonathan Carter, deputy director of the FAA Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, lithium batteries are the no. 1 cause of fires in airline cargo and baggage. If you're flying with LiPos, they belong in your carry-on baggage with their terminals protected. If the airline needs to check your carry-on at the gate, be sure to remove the batteries and take them on the plane with you. 

Checkout our battery storage containers at Battery Storage


Saturday, 19 September 2020

Friday, 18 September 2020

MCA test Elbit Sea Rescue Drone

Elbit Systems UK recently demonstrated the Hermes 900 Maritime Search & Rescue Flights for the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, with Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) missions.


The Hermes 900 was deployed on a range of missions that simulated shore-line rescues, water rescues in dangerous air space and long-distance ship rescues, off the West Coast of Wales.

With a wingspan of 15m, the 1.2 ton, Hermes 900 is already deployed with more than a dozen advanced customers around the globe providing search, rescue and reconnaissance capabilities. The Company offers extended life-saving capabilities with its recently launched Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol configuration with inflated life-rafts for detection, identification and saving the lives of survivors at sea. It was revealed that this configuration was delivered to an undisclosed customer in South-East Asia.


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Commercial Drones Market Predictions

 

Infographic: Commercial Drones are Taking Off | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Top Tips for Newbie Drone Users

FaceBook drone groups offer great impartial advice, it is always great to ask questions, but observe the etiquette of the group, and remember that group members compete for drone jobs, it pays to read between the lines. 


1/. Free Advice - Before you buy gear, sign up to a Drone FaceBook group, members offer great impartial advice for free. 


2/. Pre-owned drone gear - FB Drone Group members often offer great deals on secondhand gear, as members trade up to purchase of new technology. Either buy secondhand gear to learn with, before you commit to purchase of latest tech, or buy the latest tech to take full advantage of superior technology. Make sure you have plenty of batteries, battery recharger, and memory cards.


3/. Insurance - FaceBook group members will guide you on how to insure for liability and to protect your investment, which companies to use, which companies not to use.


4/. Training - FB Group members can advise on what companies offer the best training in your area.


5/. Getting Work - FB Group members can advise you on where to find work. Most drone operators get repeat work and referrals. I have seen some comments from FB Group members that paid membership sites don’t always offer value for money. Keep in mind that group members are potential drone job competitors, so read between the lines.


6/. Getting Paid - There are a few rouge companies that exploit rookie drone users, who pay late or don’t pay at all - FB Group members will advise you on best business terms of payment, and using copyright stamps on aerial images to protect your work pre-payment. 


7/. Weddings - Perhaps 80% of wedding photography doesn’t require drones, wedding photographers have excellent people skills; wedding guests won’t buy photos that are unflattering.   Many wedding photographers have purchased drones to do the odd aerial view. If you do weddings, always have business cards available to hand out to guests, referrals are very important.


8/. Property Surveys - Surveyors have time / budget restraints so pay top dollar to have drone operators available at critical times, e.g. when the architect is on-site. Many real estate agents now offer indoor drone footage for virtual viewing during Corvid Lockdowns. 


9/. Thermal Surveys - require more technology, so job requiring sophisticated equipment may justify higher charge rates.

10/. How much to charge? - Depends on competition, alternative methods to achieve the same result. Somebody who wants a drone to check his roof for missing tiles maybe willing to pay for convenience, but if you charge too much, he may just get his ladder out of the garage! Alternatively, drones can save contractors significant costs, so consider the savings your service provides. Don’t forget to factor in cost of drone equipment, depreciation, insurance, training, licensing, travelling costs, and total time with travel and operations at $XX per hour. Keep in mind though that you may have competitors; if your charge rates are too high, you may loose clients for good.  

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Drones Herding Cattle in Australia

Australian farmers are using drones to round up cattle making the job safer than using quad bikes or horses. 


Photographer's Guide to Drones

The Photographer's Guide to Drones explains everything photographers need to know about drones and quadcopters in order to take their photography to new levels literally. 

Photographer and author Colin Smith guides the reader along, as he teaches: 
- How to fly a drone, including practice flight patterns and controller tips that will help readers master the basics 
- New rules of composition for aerial photography as they apply to drone and quadcopter imagery 
- How to create the best files for both still photos and video 
- Post-processing techniques unique to aerial photography that readers need to know, such as how to make videos look both dynamic and smooth 



 

Sunday, 13 September 2020

FLIR SkyRanger R70 Advanced Multi-mission UAS

FLIR SkyRanger R70 Advanced Multi-mission UAS, Currently over 2000 deployed world wide, a favourite with police departments, cheaper to operate than helicopters, these are often purchased with funds seized from criminal activities #police #drone #FLIR