They go by many names, but whether they’re Unmanned Aerial Systems, Unattended Aerial Vehicles or simply drones, the sophistication and ruggedness of modern UAV systems has developed well beyond the hobbyist radio-controlled aircraft some of these miniature flyers resemble.
This cover story in the September 2014 issue of Design Engineering magazine (Pages 21-25) highlights the rapid growth of the UAV industry in Canada, the regulations and the advancing technology that is becoming more affordable for organizations within commercial markets, such as oil & gas, forestry, mining and more.
The near future looks profitable for using small unmanned systems to inspect and monitor the integrity of energy assets, for both fossil fuel and renewables.
This xyHt Aerial Mapping Special Edition article, about inspection applications in the Energy sector, highlights how small UAS can benefit commercial applications that involve the surveying and aerial mapping in (and of) environments that are "dangerous, difficult and dirty".
The following is an excerpt from the article:
Inspections [of pipelines] can be performed as part of a maintenance program or reactively to identify the location of a failure and to create a repair plan before the maintenance crew arrives. More broadly, sUAS can be used for complementary applications such as interference assessment (clash detection), ground surveying and modeling, wildlife and environmental management, and security.
Aeryon Labs is a Canadian sUAS manufacturer with experience in this field.
One of the toughest questions yet to be answered in the evolving world of unmanned aviation is at what point a toy becomes a tool. For Dave Kroetsch and his partners, the answer unfolded in 2006 when they leveraged their longtime interest in radio-controlled (RC) aircraft into a foothold on what is clearly the next big thing in aviation. Now their little quadcopters do everything from mapping crime scenes to guarding the Prime Minister.
Kroetsch started building radio-controlled aircraft in 1996 while still an engineering student at the University of Waterloo (UW). He even set up an aerial robotics team to enter academic competitions. After graduating, Kroetsch missed the fun he had had building flying machines. Former teammates Michael Peasgood and Steffen Lindner felt the same way, so in 2006 they formed Aeryon Labs to perfect and commercialize a tiny helicopter and camera system. The Aeryon team understood their customers were not going to be remote control enthusiasts, but rather people trying to get a job done.
Recently, on the Fox Business program, Closing Bell, host Liz Claman spoke with unmanned vehicle manufacturers about the technology, markets and legislation. As part of the five day series, Rise of the Drones, Aeryon President & CEO, Dave Kroetsch, participated in this interview on Friday, August 22, 2014.
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site program will begin using the Aeryon SkyRanger to help determine how to integrate UAS into the US national airspace.
Waterloo, ON – August 14, 2014 – Aeryon Labs is pleased to announce that the Aeryon sUAS platform has been selected to collect images and data in two of the six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS test site programs. In addition to the research being conducted at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) using the Aeryon Scout™, the FAA recently granted the Virginia Tech UAS test site a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to conduct authorized flights using the Aeryon SkyRanger™.
These UAS operations will occur at test areas in Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland and will help determine UAS failure mode testing, as well as determine and evaluate operational and technical risk areas in a range of commercial and public safety applications.