The global market for non-military drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has rapidly grown into an industry worth over R30 billion, with practical applications wide-ranging and spanning across several industries, most notably mining, agriculture, water and forestry, city planning, engineering and the like.
By using an autonomous fixed-wing UAS (Unmanned Aerial System), companies can now cover specific areas of operation on a daily basis, generating high-resolution orthophotos/mosaics, NDVI maps, 3D-point-clouds and complete 3D-reconstructions.
Using multispectral sensors, UAVs have the ability to capture data that humans cannot see, such as gas leaking from a pipeline or crops that are suffering due to a lack of nitrogen, and it can do so at a cost that is significantly lower (and at a speed that is substantially faster) than using traditional methodologies.
This is useful in a number of scenarios –for example:
In recent years, UAVs have helped the industry find cheaper and safer ways to map deposit sites and explore for minerals via remote control – with different sensors allowing for stockpile monitoring, equipment movement tracking, accurate surveying and more.
UAVs in Mining are more cost effective, flexible and accurate than historical solutions such as terrestrial or manned aerial surveys.
While not (yet) widely deployed on the African continent, UAVs are used around the world in Plant Research, Crop Production, Crop Protection and other applications that offer significant benefit to agriculture and environmental specialists.
Some practical application of UAVs in Agriculture also include plant canopy measurement, livestock detection and surveillance.
The Sky has no limits
Early adopters are already experiencing significant benefit from the use of UAVs in their operations. It is this requirement for reliable access to critical information that is driving interest in the practical applications of UAV technology.
RocketMine (a division of PDT) is leading the revolution by offering a turnkey Aerial Data Solution suite, providing a quick and cost-effective way to gather a variety of data sets.
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