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DroneView Technologies: Year in Review and Outlook for 2018

2017 was a significant year with many great successes for DroneView Technologies. We emerged as a leading drone services company providing aerial mapping and geospatial services to enterprise customers throughout the United States.  

Below is a brief overview from the past year and our outlook as we fly into 2018.

Specialization and Market Focus

The markets that we serve are large and growing. We work for civil engineers and surveyors as well as landfill, mining, aggregate, earth moving, construction, energy, and telecommunication companies collecting aerial images and providing photogrammetric processing for high precision topographic mapping, stockpile measurement and inspection services.

With a seasoned team of drone pilots, photogrammetrists, surveyors, CAD technicians, data analysts and IT professionals, we assist clients throughout the US, acquiring and processing aerial image data and help them derive tangible benefits from enhancements to workflow, safety and productivity.

Aerial Intelligence: Expanded Fleet and Sensors

We take a consultative approach, working closely with our clients to understand their intended uses of this data, their accuracy requirements, their workflows and timelines and their various stakeholders. While drones are the right tool in many cases, there are some situations in which other tools are able to achieve a better result. As such, we now utilize many different platforms and sensors throughout the United States in addition to our multi rotor and fixed wing RTK drones including piloted aircraft and helicopters for image and LiDAR acquisition, mobile LiDAR, thermal and bathymetric sensors.

DroneView Technologies - Expanded Fleet and Sensors.png

Customized Training

As drones become accepted within enterprise organizations, some of our customers are interested in establishing internal drone operations. While this manifests in many flavors, the most common involves customized training for our clients’ employees to learn proper drone image acquisition and ground control placement/measurement procedures. Most still rely on DroneView Technologies to do the requisite photogrammetric processing, reporting, mapping and data storage.

Regulation

The FAA continues to make great strides in making the airspace more accessible for drone operators while maintaining safety. We expect to see increased access to instant flight authorizations in controlled airspaces in the coming year as the FAA continues to rollout their LAANC program [low altitude authorization and notification capability]. Additional progress is also being made in updated rules for flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), night time flying and drone flights over people.

 

Drone Market Outlook for 2018

1.   2018 will see significantly increased adoption of drones into mainstream business workflows as the tipping point for commercial drone use has arrived

2.   Drones used for surveying/mapping and inspection will continue to be the largest markets for commercial drone use and adoption - bringing real ROI to enterprise customers by improving accuracy, increasing timeliness of relevant data, enhancing safety and reducing costs.

3.   Autonomous (software controlled) drone flights will further increase with broadened commercial adoption and improved flight control software capabilities.

4.   The drone service provider market will continue to grow and segregate, with “higher end” drone service providers bringing increasingly specialized industry expertise.

5.   Increasing drone equipment and sensor capabilities coupled with falling costs will continue. Expect additional RTK (real time kinematic) drone offerings as well as more affordable LiDAR sensors for drone mapping.

6.   The public’s perception of drones as a useful tool and not an object of fear will continue to improve, with notably highly visible projects from Google Project Wing and Amazon Prime Air working on drone delivery, FaceBook Aquila working on solar powered long endurance drones used to beam internet connectivity, Uber working on passenger drones, among numerous others.

7.   Increased use of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, especially in the drone inspection markets to derive automated analysis and actionable insights from voluminous amounts of high definition images.

We offer our gratitude and sincere thanks to the many people that have helped guide us on our journey. With clarity to our business and strength in our market leading team of professionals, we are extremely excited for what lies ahead for DroneView Technologies in the upcoming year and beyond.

Our best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Michael Singer
   Founder and CEO, DroneView Technologies

Solid Waste Industry Embraces Drones: Transforming Topographic Mapping and Airspace Measurement

As recently published in Waste Advantage Magazine - October 2017 issue

The landfill industry’s adoption of drones is quickly reaching a tipping point. It is estimated that approximately 15 percent of all landfill operations are using drones for their aerial mapping; it is widely believed that within three years over 80 percent of all landfills will be regularly using drones in their operations.

Waste Advantage - Drones

With all of the press attention on drones and the beginning of real commercial adoption, landfill operators of all sizes are exploring and in many cases realizing the benefits that drones can bring to their organizations. “Drones are being used at an increasing number of waste disposal facilities.....click here for MORE

Drones - Landfill Mapping

Prince Tetteh Joins DroneView Technologies as Mapping Production Manager

Prince Headshot.jpg

DroneView Technologies announced today that Prince Tetteh has joined the company as Mapping Production Manager, a newly created position.

Mr. Tetteh spent the past 17 years at Rowe Professional Services Company/Air-Land Surveys, Flint, MI where he was responsible for photogrammetric processing, project management and aerial mapping. 

Michael Singer, CEO of DroneView Technologies, adds, "Prince brings experience and expertise to all of our service offerings including drone, piloted aircraft and LiDAR acquisition.  He will enhance DroneView Technologies capabilities further in many areas including powerline utility mapping, land planning, mine planning, airport mapping, topography and stockpile inventories. We are very excited to have Prince join our team."

Drones: The Game Changer

Pit and Quarry magazine featured DroneView Technologies as part of their coverage of Drones in the Aggregates and Mining Industry in their August 2017 Drone supplement

 

Pit and Quarry:   Drones: The Game Changer
Topics Include:

·      Drones, An Evolving Space by Kevin Yanik, editor of Pit and Quarry

·      Measuring Stockpile Volumes by Michael Singer, CEO of DroneView Technologies

·      Surveying With A Drone by Jeremiah Karpowicz, editor of Commercial UAV News

·      Grasping the Legalities by Lewis Graham, CEO of GeoCue Group

Pit  & Quarry: Measuring Stockpile Volumes by Michael Singer, CEO DroneView Technologies

Pit  & Quarry: Measuring Stockpile Volumes by Michael Singer, CEO DroneView Technologies

Surveying with a Drone

The 25 Most Influential People in the Commercial Drone Industry

As recently highlighted in Commercial UAV News, DroneView Technologies' CEO Michael Singer was recently chosen as One of the Most Influential People in the Commercial Drone Industry

Michael Singer, CEO DroneView Technologies

Michael Singer

Who is he?

Michael Stinger is DroneView Technologies’ CEO, a company focused on collecting and processing aerial data through various services, such as stockpile volumetric measurement; aerial mapping, topography and 3D modeling; inspection and asset monitoring.

Why is he on our list?

In 2014, Michael used the knowledge on technology he acquired through his previous professional roles and joined the commercial drone market seeking a new business opportunity, together with DroneView Technologies. After only two years of experience in the commercial drone market, Michael led DroneView to fly hundreds of successful missions for clients in over 20 different states throughout the country.

Michael recognizes that in order to achieve accurate, consistent, repeatable results from drones requires numerous discrete skills and expertise, properly integrated together that range from Project Planning, Equipment/Software Selection, Image (or LiDAR) Acquisition, Photogrammetric Data Processing, Reporting Data Storage and Archival.

What to look out for?

Michael thinks the commercial drone industry will face a tipping point in 2017, where large organizations will move from exploring how to incorporate drones into their operations to widespread mainstream implementation. He also thinks technology enabled service offerings coupled with the requisite domain expertise will be the pathway for widespread enterprise drone adoption.

DroneView will continue to improve and extend its services where the benefits of using drones to collect and process aerial image/video data yield value.

Mid Year Update: Adoption of Drones in Large Companies Reaching a Tipping Point

Over the last six months we have seen a great deal of change in the drone industry.  

  • There has been tremendous interest and growth in demand for aerial mapping utilizing drones in numerous industries including aggregates, mining, construction and solid waste businesses.  In many cases drone usage has moved to mainstream processes and has replaced traditional alternatives (GPS survey crews, aerial flyovers, etc.)
  • Drones used for asset inspection - cell towers, wind turbines, bridges, oil and gas pipelines, etc. and insurance inspection have also seen a pickup in interest, albeit still primarily being utilized in pilot evaluation projects as opposed to mainstream inspection processes.
  • Although there has been a great deal of media discussion around drones in precision agriculture there has been very little domestic adoption to date.
  • Cinematography and aerial photography, mainly for real estate marketing purposes, are also seeing high levels of demand.
drone aerial mapping

To date, drone adoption in large companies has taken several forms ranging from

(i) completely outsourcing the drone program to drone service providers

(ii) to developing internal staff and resource capabilities to entirely manage internally

(iii) or a hybrid of combined external drone service provider and internal resources.

Further, we have seen many that initially were pursuing strictly an internally resourced drone program realize that the many varied skills and resources that are required for a successful drone program are very difficult to scale across an enterprise organization and have quickly moved their efforts to a hybrid model.

DroneView Technologies has grown substantially with these new opportunities and continues to add flying and photogrammetric processing resources.  With our focus on accuracy, reliability, scalability, repeatability and safety we have expanded our drone fleet to further leverage both RTK and PPK mapping solutions. All indications have supported these technologies, when they are deployed correctly, providing a means to reduce, but not eliminate the need for numerous measured ground control points.

It is important to remember that while drones have many valuable uses they also have limitation in which they are not the right tool.  We continue to frequently deploy piloted large format image acquisition as well as LiDAR acquisition around the United States as warranted.

DroneView Technologies released an advanced private, secure data portal for clients to view, store and share their aerial imaging and processed mapping projects.

On the technology front, drones continue to evolve with DJI expanding its lead in both the consumer and commercial markets.  Sensefly eBee has emerged as the clear leader in the fixed wing, higher end drone platforms. LiDAR for drone platforms has seen little mainstream adoption as price points have remained very high. LiDAR drone pricing is falling and we expect to see more affordable LiDAR drone solutions over the next few years.

As we reach this tipping point in the drone industry, we anticipate a rosy future for the balance of 2017 and beyond with mainstream drone adoption in enterprise organizations occurring at increasing rates.