Beyond the Horizon: Data Links in Beyond Visual Line of Sight BVLOS Drone Inspection

Unprecedented inspection agility now possible with drones

Inspection of large projects can be tedious. Drones offer a smaller carbon footprint, and can zip in and out of areas difficult to reach by land or by sea, through waypoints remotely, and often along routes already captured, but moving the data takes too long. Visual inspection of longer-range facilities such as pipelines, wind farms, power lines, or vineyards can be carried out so much cheaper and faster with a drone. A bundle of the myriad network communication to different sensors and payload into one strong RF signal can assure optimal BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) communication to not only increase utility of drone, but to increase the audience using the data, ditch the waiting game, keep it safe.

If only everyone were onboard at the time of the flight and inspection, it would be easier to move large business decisions in an agile direction.

The site manager,  the mechanical engineer, attorneys and investment staff don’t want to wait on the Thumb Drive Express. No, they want to use secure, encrypted and robust data links and get to work together, to collaborate.

Drones can hover, and can cover large territory with surgical precision. A UAV can endlessly position itself inside a cubespace, adjust to or train upon features of an environment for further instruction, like basic functions found in Pokemon Go, for example.

Operator Reggie is looking for an ice cream stand to pick up and deliver a double scoop cone on a windy day, and he’s going 80 knots into crosswinds, but has to position himself  at a fairly exact distance and altitude to the reference image to get the match depicted in the game. He encounters flight problems, a flight commander takes over, zeros the issue, returns control to operator who issues a note for repair that the commander sits on while some more tests are run.  The tests reveals an exploitable utility in a sensor that is immediately implemented in real-time, and the operators can be instructed at an immediately convenient time. An informed choice turns an issue into a ROI.

A drone that can pull in signals from multiple systems in middle orbit, low orbit, from stationary objects through image-capture or machine vision learning algorithms could be pulling info from sensor fusion, from a swarm, and can pass that secure data into a cornucopia of near-field (NFC), SANS, LANS, IANS, MANS, WANS, ...so many ANS, so little time...would be incredibly useful. Seriously, no one wants to talk about mom’s spaghetti yet, and that’s okay. What’s wrong with one big noodle, one uberconduit to house this communication?

Drone navigation is becoming out-of-the-box easy. You can program your waypoints in advance, get your data, and recharge, but to maintain constant surveillance, a project manager would need multiple pilots and craft, operating independently, or interdependently, and those people have to be monitored. Jumping in and maintaining control when necessary is a vital part of flight management of crews of operators.