What are Commercial Drones Use For?
A commercial drone or Enterprise drone is a drone used by Drone Pilots in a commercial / business environment. Typically the drone is either designed for use with a specific industry requirement in mind or the drone has a specific attachment for an industry application.
Note: You can use Non-commercial drones for commercial purposes however the industry applications available for its use will be limited
Commercial drones are used in a wide variety of enterprise environments to improve levels of safety, productivity, revenue.
An Example of a Commercial Drone
A good example of a Commercial Drone is the DJI Matrice 300 RTK which offers:
- Tough build quality
- Advanced AI capabilities
- 6 Directional Sensing and Positioning
- Primary Flight display
- IP45 Rating
- -20°C to 50°C Operational Temperature
- UAV Health Management System
- 15km Transmission Range
- 1080p Triple channel video
- / 5.8 Ghz Real-time Auto-switching (improves reliable flight near high-interference environment)
- AES-256 encryption for secure data transmission
- Up to 55 minutes of flight time
- 7m/s Max descend speed
- 15 m/s Wind Ressistance (33.55 mph)
- 23 m/s Max Speed (51.45 Mph)
- 7000m Service Ceiling
- Mount 3 simultaneous payloads up to a maximum of 2.7kg
- Single downward Gimbal
- Single upward Gimbal & Single downward Gimbal
- Single Upward Gimbal & Dual Downward Gimbals
- Live mission recording
- AI spot check for routine inspections
- Up to 65535 Waypoints
- Smart Track – identify and follow moving objects such as people, vehicles and boats
- Aviation-Grade Situational Awareness
- Advanced dual control
As you can see there are countless features of an advanced Commercial drone which will allow you to use the drone in countless industry environments.
Commercial Drone Maintenance
As well as all of the features, a commercial drone needs to be maintained by the engineering / technical department of a drone business which is why in the instance of the DJI Matrice 300 RTK it comes with a new integrated Health Management System which displays the current status of all systems, notification logs, and a preliminary troubleshooting guide. In addition the system records all of the aircraft’s flight logs, duration, and mileage throughout its entire lifecycle, and tips on aircraft care and maintenance.
Commercial Drone and Drone Businesses
The commercial drone example above is just one drone in an expenetionally growing industry and as such new drones are being manufactured all of the time. As industries start to recognise how a drone can reduce costs, improve efficiency and save time for certain applications there will be more and more drones coming to the market.
For a drone business this means that their fleet of drones will increase over time and this means that quick and efficient maintenance of drones will become a vital component of the success of that business.
A drone business will need to consider a number of factors that will allow them to grow into an efficient and successful organisation such as:
- Initial cost of the drone
- Potential applications the drones can cover
- Durability and lifespan of the drone
- Cost of servicing
- Cost and availability of spare parts
- Service / maintenance systems software
- Technical backup support from the manufacturer
- Data acquisition software
Naturally the other business functions, namely sales, marketing, finance are important but as the main focus of the business is drones then ensuring the drone manufacturer equipment and software used is standardised, reliable and effective for the customers is paramount.
As we stated in the beginning, you can use a non-commercial drones for commercial use but when you consider all of the factors in terms of software, manufacturer technical support reliability etc then it makes perfect sense that commercial drones are essential. In addition, manufacturers such as DJI have specific commercial drones and commercial drone distributors allocated to assist the growth of commercial drone companies
Commercial Drone Uses
So now we have covered what commercial drones are and why it is best practice for a serous drone company to use them, let’s look at some of the most common applications commercial drones are used for:
Drones for Chemical Industry Drones
Health & safety of personnel is of the utmost importance in the chemical industry which is why drones are taking the place of inspectors to collect visual data inside large assets of the chemical process.
Drones in Farming / Agriculture.
The importance to farmers of their crop yield is essential to them maximising their profit. With farm land covering a vast area the most efficient way to assess and collect data on the state of their crops is with drones.
Forestry and Land Conservation Drones
Much like farming / agriculture the most efficient way to scan large areas land and forests and collect the important visual and analytical data is to use drones.
Construction and Drones
Construction companies have been embracing drones to improve speed and efficiency and tracking of construction builds. Drones provide real-time progress of their construction progress, meaning time consuming visits to site are avoided when employing a drone to survey the progress.
Many will be aware of the attempts by Amazon to incorporate drones for the delivery of goods. While this has yet to be fully approved. However drone delivery trials are currently taking place around the world, with a UK-first drone company conducting hospital-to-hospital medical drone deliveries to assist the NHS in the battle against COVID-19.
Movies and Drones
Helicopters were once the main stay of the movies industry for aerial shot but as they are expensive, high-end drones are used comprehensively for some of the most epic aerial shots.
Mining and Indoor Drones
Robust indoor drones are being used within the mining industry to create precide 3D maps of the mine. This speeds up decision making, saves mine assessment times and increases profit for the mine.
Drones for Insurance Companies
The insurance industry are always looking for ways to validate or investigate insurance claims. Drones assist in this process, from inspecting damaged roofs, to assising vehicle accident scenes.
Oil & Gas / Petrochemical Industry and Drones
The importance of regular inspections within the Oil & Gas / Petrochemical Industry cannot be under estimated which is why the introduction of drones comes as no surprise. In addition to processing sites there are over 3 million km of transmission pipelines around the world and drones are being for inspection purposes.
Power Stations and Powerlines
In a similar way to the petrochem industry, continuous inspections are an essential part of the day and as such drones are being eployed to speed up the process. In addition, powerlines also need to be inspected which has traditionally been done with helicopters but now drones are proving to be a much greater cost-effective choice. There are even flame thrower drone attachments that can burn off debris on the powerlines.
Public Safety, Police, Fire Services Drones
In the UK a number of regional Police forces are utilising drones to help locate missing persons. Local councils are using them for event management (clearly not during the pandemic) and Fire services are using them to locate people in building through thermal imagery and to view the fire from angles and ranges not before possible by implementing drones.
Inside Pipeline Drones
Drones are now being used to inspect inside pipelines by using drones such as the Flyability Elios with its own protective frame.