Drone Operations Management

What is Drone Operations Management?

Drone operations management is a multi-faceted practice that effectively coordinates drone activities in a commercial or industrial context. Effective drone operations management requires a strong understanding of applicable regulatory compliance, skillful flight planning, and safe drone operations.

Drone operations involve data management and analysis, not just the flights themselves, as drones collect significant data during each task. 

The field of drone operations management is evolving rapidly alongside advancements in drone technology, a changing regulatory landscape, and the utility of replacing legacy processes with drones.

What is Drone Management Software Used For?

Software built for managing drones comes in many different forms, with most aiming to help plan, execute, and review drone operations. While the specific capabilities vary based on the vendor, typical functionalities of drone software include:

  • Creating, managing, and scheduling flight plans that are in full compliance with any applicable airspace regulations.
  • Real-time monitoring that provides data live during flights, including battery status, location, and altitude.
  • Collects and analyzes data gathered by a range of drones, which is crucial for telco or wind farm asset inspections
  • Providing management tools to track multiple drones, including maintenance needs and usage logs.
  • Offers safety features and compliance capabilities to help keep drones operating within legal guidelines at all times.

Companies That Need Drone Operations Management

A wide variety of companies need drone operations management software and processes, as they provide utility in many different ways for various industries. Some industries that benefit significantly from this accurate and efficient drone management are telcos and wind farms.

Telcos, also known as tower companies, manage the physical towers that are typically rented out to mobile network operators. These companies need to ensure all towers are operating efficiently and have strong structural integrity. Inspections and maintenance need to be conducted frequently to prevent any possible issues, as well as discover new space for additional revenue opportunities and analyze equipment installation. 

For wind farms, extending the lifespan of each turbine and keeping it operating as efficiently as possible is crucial. Drones help accomplish these goals, which creates the need for effective drone management.

How Drone Management Systems Help Your Company

A drone management system allows your teams to operate any necessary drone-related tasks efficiently. You’ll be able to stay on top of flight management in addition to managing maintenance schedules. Implementing the right software and processes can help your business in a few essential ways; let’s explore some of the top benefits.

Asset Management

A common use case for drones is staying on top of company assets. For example, wind farms are able to move away from rope inspections by using drones instead. Drones allow for much faster inspections, which also means decreased downtime for inspections.

However, without using a comprehensive drone management system, you’ll fall short of staying on top of each flight and drone maintenance schedule. That’s why organizations that play to use drones at scale opt for using the right platform to make management easier.

Data Collection and Analysis

The primary reason an organization upgrades to drones is to rapidly collect and analyze data when compared to outdated methods. However, you need the right software beyond the drone itself to store and evaluate any captured data. 

For example, inspecting a telecommunications tower may include capturing video and thermal imaging. This data needs to be stored and easily accessible for technicians or engineers to review. 

The right system for collecting and analyzing data is a crucial component of any large scale drone operation.

Inspection Planning

Using drones for inspections streamlines inspection planning. The necessary time frame for each inspection will decrease, which in turn makes it easier to reliably plan and conduct inspections.

Technicians can precisely schedule inspection routes, easily carry out routine checks, and identify potential issues. Considering some assets need to be down during inspections, like wind turbines, this benefit can go far in improving overall operational efficiency.

Implementing Autonomous Drone Software

Using an advanced drone operating system unlocks an entirely new capability — autonomy. Implementing autonomous drone software goes far in helping your organization gain even more value from drone operations management.

You need to find the right software solution for your use cases and possibly existing drones. Once you’ve ensured compatibility, you’ll need to provide thorough training for technicians or pilots who will be using these drones.

Then, you’re ready to fully roll out autonomous drones throughout your operation, whether mapping towers or inspecting wind turbines.