What are drones for?
Buy the best drone, Drones have great potential in very diverse areas, since they can move quickly over irregular or rough terrain and overcome any type of obstacle offering images or capturing other types of data from a bird’s eye view, thanks to the devices they can carry (cameras, sensors…) without risk to people.
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For this reason, Ferrovial is making use of drones in many of its activities, choosing the most appropriate type of drone and the sensors that must be shipped (cameras, lidar sensors, etc.) depending on the case of use and the type of data that are to be measured on each flight.
Additionally, the Digital Hub is promoting the use of drones, offering support to projects in order to better understand the regulation and keep up to date with current regulations) and creating a ” FLY-AI ” tool that allows, among other things, to management of the necessary documentation for the use of drones, the internal approval of flights, and the inspection of infrastructures automatically through the use of artificial intelligence algorithms.
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How does a drone work?
The operation of a drone is basically the same as that of an airplane or a helicopter. The engines start up and the fins move to make flight possible. Then, with the controls, the flight is directed, which will depend largely on the knowledge and skill of the pilot. In some cases, it is possible to set a course automatically.
The models that allow it incorporates a GPS that allows correcting the flight and adjusting it until reaching the indicated point. These are used to perform cyclic observation rounds, without the need for a pilot to control them. You simply observe what the camera collects, which is sent in real-time or recorded depending on the case.
A name change
Some experts recommend betting on a name change and calling these quadcopters. And leave the name drone for other unmanned vehicles. The truth is that there is no consensus on this. So we will continue to see how some refer to one or another model when they talk about what a drone is.
The visual inspection of infrastructures is one of the areas in which unmanned aerial vehicles are already used. The main reasons are two: on the one hand, the cost savings derived from the relative ease with which the infrastructure is accessed and, on the other, a significant reduction in risk for personnel.
The inspection of transmission lines in Chile is one of the examples of the use of drones in Grupo Ferrovial.
Using drones with a lidar sensor or high-resolution cameras, topographic surveys and three-dimensional models can be carried out. This makes it possible to generate plans, analyze the evolution of the work and calculate volumes of earth extracted, among others.
Drones and the environment
In environmental matters, drones also add up. A drone equipped with a thermographic camera can give us, for example, a very complete view of the state of a landfill: hot spots, areas of humidity, etc. or it can be used to fly over large areas of vegetation and thus facilitate maintenance tasks.
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In the case of the conservation of viaducts near a highway, chartering a drone to carry out the analysis is much cheaper and safer than picking up specialized personnel or sending a helicopter, alternatives that are also time-consuming. It does not prevent subsequent action in the event of a problem being detected, but it does relieve some work that previously required on-site personnel.
Air control and security projects already exist on airport runways. One example was the project at Southampton Airport, consisting of a predator-shaped drone, which reduced the number of birds on the runway by 74%, which translates into a significant reduction in airport operating costs.