Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are spreading and gaining recognition in several worldwide industries. Businesses operating in sectors such as surveying, forestry, mining and agriculture have begun to realise the substantial value of investing in modern drone technology instead of continuing with traditional methods.
This significant rise in popularity is highlighted in a new forecast by Gartner, which predicts that the global drone market revenue is expected to increase by 34 % to a total of more than $6bn this year and rise to more than $11.2bn by 2020.
Advantages of using drones from a business perspective
So, how come this increased interest in drones? From a business perspective, there are several ways that a drone could have a positive impact on your strategy as well as your operations. If we look at the market for surveying, this is a perfect example of how modern technology can be the catalyst for moving to a new business model.
Let’s have a look at four major advantages of using a drone compared to more traditional surveying methods:
- lncreased data accuracy and coverage: The data collected from a drone exceeds anything one potentially could achieve using traditional methods. The data is often captured in the millions of data points during flights. Let’s illustrate this through an example: a professional two-man team of surveyors should be able to collect up to between 500 and 600 data points a day. This compared to a drone that can capture up towards several million data points in just 15 minutes. So, not only do you get equal or better accuracy, you also get far better coverage (data density)
- Up-to-date data: per the example above, surveyors have found that not only is there a significant increase in data density, there is also the additional benefit of shorter lead times. For example. in the mining industry, where large volumes of ore is moved over large areas on a daily basis, planning the daily activities based on accurate and relevant data is a must. The fact that you can capture large areas in a short time period is highly beneficial
- Higher productivity: the fact that traditional methods require significantly more manpower than using a drone inevitably results in lower productivity. By investing in modern drone technology, projects that once took days or even weeks can be done in just a few hours. This means, there will be more time for you to focus on more strategic parts of the business, and even to take on more extensive projects
- Increased accessibility (and safety): there are certain terrains that are not considered a walk in the park to survey. However, the job must still be done. A drone eliminates a lot of risk to the drone operators by keeping them out of dangerous terrain and from having to use hazardous equipment in hazardous places. In addition to that, drones can also perform a GIS survey using visual, thermal, or even multispectral imaging over any terrain
Is your business ready to take off?
The market for drones is booming and this should come as no surprise. There is an increasing market demand for accurate and relevant GIS data, and this demand can be met by investing in modern drone technology for your business. Considering where the market is moving along with various advantages, you should ensure you are not the last one onboard. Because one thing is for certain; investing in a modern drone is not a matter of ‘if’, it is a matter of ‘when’.