In a project with Heliscope we are very close to obtaining the first permanent, commercial BVLOS license in the world.
This is great news for everyone working with drones or with infrastructure inspections based on UAV flights – and here’s why:
FLYING WITHOUT AN OPERATOR
Normally, a drone operator needs to see what he or she is doing to prevent the drone from flying into stuff and causing damage to persons or property.
But in the military community, drones have been flying more or less autonomously for years with an operator in a control room far from the heat of the action, so it’s technically possible to let drones fly on their own.
For more peaceful applications, such as inspection flights, autonomous drones are not yet standard anywhere in the world. The technology exists, the problem is getting a permit to go flying without an operator in the field.
BEYOND VISUAL LINE OF SIGHT
However, the prize is really worth the effort. If a UAV can be sent on inspection flights along a pre-programmed flight path, it will increase its efficiency and range dramatically.
Whereas a human operator on the ground needs to move around in order to cover a stretch of power lines, an autonomous drone can just go buzzing along the power lines for mile after mile and shoot all the images one could ever dream of.
This is called BVLOS – Beyond Visual Line of Sight.