For the uninitiated, BVLOS stands for Beyond Visual Line of Sight. Many countries have regulations against flying drones beyond your visual line of sight. This means if you decide to send your drone on a little scouting mission, make sure you can still see the bird with your own eyes. You can use visual aids like binoculars for brief and short periods but the law is that you actually have to be able to maintain line of sight at all times.
So that brings us to this breaking story. A drone company called Delair-Tech (operates commercial drones), partnered with a service company called RTE, to achieve a feat of engineering prowess. They got permission to fly a drone beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) for 30 miles. 30 freaking miles! We are looking into the type of battery tech they have but this has a chance to redefine so many industries and applications.
According to Michael Lagarde, “We are delighted to partner with RTE, confirming that renowned industrial customers are committed to drone solutions. In collaboration with RTE, we used for the first time in France a 3G network to guide the drone, allowing real-time communication from any distance. This removes an important technological barrier. It is a first step toward making drones the most common method for inspections of infrastructure that stretches over large distances, such as power lines and pipelines. Drones offer enormous potential to deliver strong efficiency gains for our customers.”
For this flight, the company relied on two drone pilots for the take off phase of the operation. They also used two pilots for the landing part of the operation. The rest of the flight was on autopilot to maximize distance and also take advantage of the 3G cellular network (which in my opinion was genius).
Using drones and obviously clearly defined BVLOS regulations, PreciseSky believes short and long range inspection projects can be safely conducted using relatively inexpensive solutions.