One of the most widely used uses in UAS operations is reconnaissance missions, both for land and facilities. There are several techniques used, but we are going to focus on the sensors that are being the most useful for these cases. We refer to photogrammetry and LIDAR.
There are many considerations that we could comment on these two data capture techniques and their practical application, but in this case we are going to focus on those aspects that we consider to be barriers that are preventing the massive use of UAS to carry out work. of topography or generation of precision images, and that means that, despite the enormous advantages of using drones, traditional methods are still used in many cases.
Indeed, the advantages are recognized by professionals, whether for work in fields such as mining, construction, energy, agriculture, or for recognition and inspection of industrial facilities, the advantages are evident in cost reduction, improvement in the safety of professionals and even in the increase in the precision of the data, thanks to the integrated systems that these aircraft can carry on board.
Where, therefore, we observe that there may be problems that act as a brake on the greater use of these techniques.
In the first place, a problem common to other situations, where technologies and experts in totally different specialties must be brought together: the lack of integration of drone operation concepts with the scope of the work objectives. In this case we can say that the necessary coordination must be carried out in both directions, the UAS operator must know and understand what the data analyst needs and the technicians must understand the problems and fundamentals of the drone operation. The solution is a close collaboration between the customer and the UAS operator. All the dedication in this phase is a guarantee for the success of the work.
Secondly, it is very common to think that the more data is captured, the better the work, forgetting that what is really important is to provide only and exactly what is needed and with the precision that is needed. Any additions will not only increase costs, but can also complicate the final analysis of the data. As diagnosed in other fields of information, excessive data produces noise and this makes analysis difficult.
Thirdly, it is necessary for us to refer to a barrier that surely all UAS operators have encountered at some time. We refer to the UAS operations regulations. The technical expectations and the scope of a job, for example, mapping or an inspection of an industrial facility, the most important limitation may come from the adjustments that will be necessary to make so that the operation of the UAS conforms to the existing regulations. . Nothing to add in this regard, just to say that in the process of designing the work to be carried out, one of the factors to consider from the beginning will be the operational limitations due to the regulations that must be applied.
Finally, I want to refer to a factor that has been presented to me on various occasions and that is surely more common than we might think. I mean what we could call: and that can be done! The dialogue between the different technicians who need data and information to carry out their jobs and the drone operators can lead us to surprises in the number of new actions that can arise either due to ignorance or not having been considered before or both at the same time. From here arises again, the necessary interrelation and dialogue between the different parties, clients and operators, because from this union will come the new applications and uses that are waiting to be explored, for a new improvement and increase in the use of UAS. We are not left to settle for: “you can’t”, and let’s move on to “why not?”.