Tips on Scaling Your UAV Program
Updated: Jun 3, 2022
Companies of all sizes are considering scaling UAV programs, but putting the right foundations in place to ensure such programs don't fail is much less widespread.
There is a range of ambition in drone programs. In many organisations, automating time-consuming tasks or expanding their business scope is a primary goal. Others aim higher: to reinvent what productivity looks like and eventually digitize their working environments.
If your organization has been using drones, you've probably seen how they can benefit operations while saving time and money. At this point, you'd like to expand your drone program to leverage drone technology throughout your entire organization.
Scaling your drone operations can be challenging. Plan ahead and set priorities, and you'll have an easier time getting things done.
Here are some tips to help you scale your drone program successfully:
Standardize Your Workflows
Your company must have a highly standardized, repeatable process in place before it can scale its drone program. This includes more than just flight and data collection. We're talking about having a comprehensive process that starts at the beginning and ends at the very end,
Training pilots and team members
Having the right system and tools in place will ensure that whether the project is an inspection of a roof or an inspection of a wind turbine you can count on the same reliability and consistency from your teams and feel assured that every client will be satisfied. Additionally, having a scalable system in place allows your drone program to manage multiple projects across a region while saving time, reducing costs, and reducing complexity.
Data is King 👑
Data is at the heart of every drone program.
Data collected by drones can help you and your clients make smarter decisions, whether you're inspecting infrastructure, mapping a construction site, or doing a facade inspection project.
This information is becoming more and more valuable and sensitive. In order to scale your drone program, you must invest in software that will help you to protect, store, and manage the data you collect, as well as be able to share this data with stakeholders involved in the project.
Strong internal systems for your drone operations
In order to scale your operations, you'll need a repeatable, solid system to rely on. In a scenario where your organization is carrying out multiple missions at multiple sites with multiple crews, having processes set in stone is the only way to guarantee consistency.
If you're in a particularly complex industry such as construction and engineering or media, having excellent internal systems in place for your drone program will make scaling up run more smoothly.
When so many moving pieces are involved (permits, personnel, equipment, schedules, multiple vendors), variables are introduced and risks are increased. When your drone operations scale up, you'll discover that an easy-to-use system becomes increasingly important, especially once you begin coordinating multiple jobs at different locations with different flight crews and managers.
It's important to make sure every crew follows the same procedures, that aircraft are maintained to the same standards, and that everyone meets internal and regulatory requirements.
Expanding your fleet
Expanding a drone program requires more hardware and more pilots, particularly if you're operating in multiple locations and expanding your service.
This can be accomplished in several ways. In order to determine the best fit for your organization, you need to consider the scale of operations you intend to conduct, the type of missions to be conducted, and the degree to which you wish to maintain close control over each flight.
One popular option is to create a centralized operations team at your corporate headquarters. You will use this department to manage aerial missions and oversee crews at various locations. There may even be a need for multiple operations teams to cover different areas.
Using a third-party provider of drone services may be a cost-effective way to scale out. As you scale up, you can reduce the initial outlay on equipment and pilot training when working with external providers.
Use creativity with your drone operations
Every day, new uses for drones and aerial data are discovered, and it is likely that we haven't even seen all of the commercial applications for these technologies. In addition to providing just nice real estate videos, drones are replacing dangerous or time-consuming tasks that could be done more safely and efficiently with a drone.
For instance, CHPV Media Services created 3D models of Tudor Paston Hall in the UK using Hammer Missions.
A few years ago, the idea of the ancient world and the modern world merging seemed impossible, but now we are at the stage where new applications for drone technology are being identified in almost every area. If you adopt one of these new use cases-or better yet discover one yourself-you can expand the value of your drone operations.
If you are ready to scale your UAV program Hammer Missions is designed to increase the operational efficiency in Infrastructure Surveys & Inspections by using Drones, software automation and aerial data.
Our software helps drone professionals and Enterprise UAS programmes collect quick and precise inspection data for a number of different infrastructure assets: roofs, facades, powerlines, towers, solar panels, wind turbines and more.
If you want to learn more about our enterprise solutions, including mission collaboration, data capture, flight analytics and more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you.
- The Hammer Team