By Frank Segarra- President
This new paradigm of Drone-based inspections is helping industries improve efficiency and quality of data acquisition while increasing safety and speed of delivery. Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), most companies are not aware of the diverse benefits they can achieve using small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAV’s) to inspect their assets.
The present challenges of the traditional asset inspections-
The first thing is to realize that there are several challenges with traditional asset inspection methods. Most often, the stakeholders are usually aware of the high costs, risks and the length of time it takes to carry out a traditional inspection. Despite having this knowledge, the organization will most likely be looking at ways to improve on the methods but rarely looking at drones as an alternative for work-flow improvement.
Today there is a hand full of industries who are using drones to inspect a wide range of assets, including Energy and Power, Oil and Gas, Water Towers, Commercial Builders and more. Others are just starting while the rest are yet to make the decision. While companies using drones can quickly and safely produce detailed and accurate inspection data, the ones relying on traditional methods will find it hard to do so over the same period. The scope of drone use-case applications will vary from one company to the other, but the building industry, energy, insurance, real estate and others with similar requirements are using drones to carry out a wide range of inspections. There are several benefits of using drones to perform activities such as asset inspections which are traditionally risky, costly and time-consuming. In addition, it replaces the traditional methods that are likely to produce inaccurate data due to human error and other factors.
Compelling Details and Benefits of Drone Inspections versus Traditional
The development of drones in the last few years is changing which is, enhancing the inspection process by making it safer, inexpensive and less time-consuming. UAV technology has many benefits including:
1. Drones minimize the obvious dangers and health risks-
Drones enable easy and safe inspections of tall and complex structures, especially the inspections of facilities such as oil and gas refineries, flare stacks, and pipelines. It eliminates the need for workers to physically access hostile environments where factors such as the height, the wind, waves, weather, and radiation can lead to accidents. Drones can easily access difficult to reach areas while eliminating the need for a human to go there using risky mechanical tools.
2. Collection of in-depth and higher detail data-
UAV drones equipped with obstacle avoidance functionality have the ability to navigate very close to structures allowing the drone to capture minuscule details. At a drummers cadence drones pop-out high-resolution images or 4K video that clearly show cracks, damage, misplaced wires and other defects at elevations and angles that humans cannot. This allows collection of comprehensive data without exposing the inspection team to risks.
3. Quick and Rapid Deployment-
Licensed FAA remote pilots can launch a drone inspection within a very short time upon request. Since it only takes minutes to launch a drone-based inspection, UAV’s are suitable for both day-to-day and on-demand emergency scenarios. In addition, drones are capable of completing inspection segments in up to 5-to-20 minutes. As such an insurance company, construction engineer, lending company or prospective home buyer can easily request an inspection and get results in less than one hour.
4. Flexibility to suit a majority of inspections-
Drones have the ability of high-flying, low-flying and can either be huge, medium or small, hence providing a wide selection to suit a variety of inspection needs. In addition, the flexibility and ease of a wide variety of software tools allow drones to service endless of applications. For building developers and rooftop inspections, drones can take photos, capture video, take thermal images, transmit data, and other functions that enable them to collect and share information that would take days using the conventional means.
5. Easily shareable data-
With standard software and analytical tools, the images and other information collected from a project site can be used to generate standard reports that are easy to share across multiple platforms. This information can be customized for different industries, making it easier for the professional in different sectors to easily interpret and share relevant data.
6. Using Drones for Marketing and Advertising-
Other than inspections for maintenance and other purposes, drones can also provide outstanding video footage for marketing purposes. The high-quality images and cinematography provide potential investors, (whether buyers or tenants), a better view of the properties they are investing in.
7. Little to Zero Downtime for Equipment and Systems-
Most manual inspections require shutting down equipment or systems (during a maintenance window) to avoid damage or injuries to the inspection personnel. However, drones can safely inspect complex systems such as the wind turbines, radars, communication towers and others while they are still running. This means that inspection does not interfere with the services or production.
8. Ability to Inspect Difficult to get to and Hazardous Areas-
Drones are making it possible for professionals to easily collect aerial data in places where it would be logically impossible. It is less risky and safer to use drones in hostile environments for applications such as radiation monitoring, inspecting high voltage lines and other installations that can cause injuries or health problems. Since most of these applications must be inspected while still in operation, a manual process would require more expensive equipment and protection gear.
9. Low Insurance Costs-
Manual inspections are risky and require paying insurance for the inspector and the workers before carrying out the task. Insurance requirements for drones are minimal and missions based, hence much lower costs. In addition, the risks of injuries are reduced dramatically in a drone-based inspection.
10. Save Time and Money-
Drones minimize the high cost and time required to erect ladders, access towers, swing stages, aerial lifts, and other heavy equipment. In addition, you do not have to hire or acquire ladders, heavy equipment and large pickup trucks for every inspection. Since the job takes less time, it means that you can inspect more assets in one day.
By Frank J. Segarra- President- ConnexiCore
When the moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars-- Then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars… and so the song rings out by the 60’s pop group “The 5th Dimension”. This Sunday January 7th, 2018 marks the next date for our constellation to be in alignment for our next age of Aquarius. The Age of Aquarius in the Western Hemisphere is associated with the hippies of the 1960s and ’70s, and now with the “New Age” movement. In both cases, the arrival of the Aquarian age has been associated with … harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, but today our world is riddled with a newfound fear of constant attacks from enemies both domestic and foreign. These attacks aren’t just associated with large religious or political groups, these attacks come in all shapes and sizes with a purpose that average loving citizen cannot comprehend. This new world we live in opens an enormous trend in possibilities for simple “lone wolf” attacks to happen right under our nose. These so-called lone wolves are a nightmare for the law enforcement and intelligence community as they are extremely difficult to detect and to defend against. Compared to group terrorism or network-sponsored terrorists, lone operators have a perilous advantage in avoiding identification and detection before and after their attacks, since most of them do not communicate with others about their intentions. Although lone wolves might have the disadvantage of lacking the means, skills, and “professional” support of terrorist groups, some of them nonetheless have proven to be very lethal.
After the September 11, 2001 horrific attacks on US soil, the age of situational awareness became a harsh reality and a new age for preemptive technology to assist in this new threat was born. Security threats are a growing concern at international and national levels, as well as within corporate USA. With the threats to international borders, governments are ordering reviews of their security arrangements at airports, seaports and public transportation hubs. Law enforcement agencies are also charged with identifying wanted individuals in public places. In addition, security and facilities managers need to keep known undesirables and unknowns off their premises, as well as identifying returning VIPs to a facility.
Over the years both corporate enterprises as well as government entities have deployed an abundance of video management and CCTV observation platforms that for the most part provide a poor job at pro-actively analyzing the large volumes of human traffic on the street as well as the corporate lobby.
Today there are a handful of very cost effective and easy to deploy solutions that deliver frictionless, seamless enrollment, verification, and identification in a variety of use-case settings, such as; airports, border management, stadiums, ports of entry/exit, amusement parks, enterprises, and other high-demand, high-traffic areas.
One of the latest and most reliable technologies today that allows the enterprise to proactively monitor, capture, assess, match, and react to real-time threats is “Biometric Facial Recognition”. Facial biometrics have the potential to be integrated anywhere you can find a modern camera. Law enforcement agencies the world over use biometric software to scan faces in CCTV footage, as well as to identify persons of interest in the field. Border control deployments use face recognition to verify the identities of travelers. From airports to stadiums, mass transit and other high-profile facilities, protecting these areas is one of the toughest challenges security officials face. Often covering large open spaces and involving sizable crowds, there are multiple and ongoing threats that should be addressed. By deploying identification matching technologies at designated points of access both proactive and preventive measures become possible to better secure and manage those areas. NEC, one of Japans largest technology manufactures has efficiently produced and packaged several advanced biometric facial recognition solutions that are now in general availability for US consumption. NEC’s NeoFace platform is a high performance facial recognition technology that is capable of capturing face images at tight angles, and in difficult lighting conditions. NeoFace’s proven ability to match poor quality facial images, including images with low resolutions down to 24 pixels between the eyes, its performance surpasses all other facial recognition systems on the market today.
For more information on Advanced Facial Biometrics visit: https://www.connexicore.com/neoface-video.html
By Frank Segarra- President
It’s quite remarkable to realize that the emerging unmanned aviation industry has such crossover appeal to so many in the last few years. In fact, my own personal experience as a Drone Flight Services Provider is that our Drone division of our business yields more excitement and enthusiasm from our customers than all of the other technologies my business represents today. Through the advent of the unmanned aircraft and its current technological and "whiz-bang" innovations, the enterprise could have easily overlooked it as just a hobbyist trend. There has been a noticeable swell in the public’s desire to access and operate drones not only here in the United States but on several Continents. With this new desire to use Drones as an enterprise tool comes a significant learning curve to properly understand the multitude of designs, equipment, use cases, capabilities, regulations, limitations, and strategies to support safe and appropriate use.
Weighing less than 55 pounds, small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAV’s) commonly known as “Drones,” have already become the most prevalent and affordable form of unmanned aircraft available, with applications for business, military, and recreation. Already a $4.5 billion industry worldwide, analysts project more than 100,000 new jobs in unmanned aircraft will be needed in the next 10 years, generating more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy. Since August of 2016 when the FAA loosened up regulations by providing Part 107 licensing, the drone industry has exploded and now has a platform to provide real “proof-of-concept” on the enormous commercial value drones can provide to a variety of vertical use cases.
The same cloud-based technologies we take for granted today have enabled unique opportunities to advance an entirely new and exciting path for the traditional unified communications professional. The proliferation of small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAV’s) for enterprise applications has created a new industry that appears to have no limits. The utilities and benefits of drones as valuable capability modifiers, are now emerging and being recognized across multiple industries. With architectural engineering and construction, commercial/residential real estate, telecommunications, energy, utilities, agriculture, public safety, insurance, and a plethora of industrial inspection practices at the forefront, drone data is making us safer, more efficient, and more effective on the job. And in many cases, it’s happening at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional data collection and analysis methods.
Insurance companies have been flocking towards drones in 2017. Spurred on by catastrophic damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma hitting the southeastern United States, drones have been given an international stage to truly showcase their effectiveness. In the wake of these disasters, drones were deployed in mass not just for insurance companies to help speed up claims but also for search and rescue efforts.
Drones can easily survey roof damage in real-time and relay data to a claims agent’s phone, tablet computer, or any device with a Wi-Fi connection. Using a drone to inspect a building after a loss is not only safer, but also more efficient and cost-effective. By deploying a drone, adjusters and underwriters can obtain the information they need up to 10 times faster than before. In addition, drones can be operated at a much lower per-hour cost than manned inspection vehicles and offer the ability to collect data on a pre-programmed repeatable track, providing consistency in the inspection data and process.