Enabling Drones in Oil and Gas Industry BVLOS Flight
Industry Experts Speak – What Will It Take to Make BVLOS A Reality, Enabling Drones in the Oil and Gas Industry and Beyond?
By: Dawn Zoldi
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More than six years ago when Jon Damush, the current CEO of Iris Automation, was the Chief Growth Officer for Boeing subsidiary Insitu, his team inspected Shell Oil’s liquified natural gas natural well heads with drones, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).
They used the ScanEagle and a patchwork of command and control radios, terrestrial communications, VHF transceivers and dedicated radars coupled with constant ATC contact. This project increased inspection rates by a power of almost 20 – from six to ten well heads to over 200 per week. Some data (live video) was realtime, other data (3D models) took several days to analyze by computer at the time, it nevertheless proved invaluable. The project not only relieved workers from the dull, dirty and dangerous tasks they had…