Eight Major Areas of Applications for the Deployment of BVLOS Drones

The use of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drones for commercial applications has been implemented by various end users in several regions, however, with restrictions. Every year many applications are filed by various corporations, including start-ups. So far, a very small number of companies have seen approvals by regulators globally.

However, developed countries like the U.S. are playing an active role in moving things forward by implementing BVLOS operations at the grassroot level. For instance, recently, in January 2021, American Robotics received approval from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to operate a drone without a human operator. The company also uses detect and avoid (DAA) technology to operate drones for BVLOS applications.

Following are the major applications of the BVLOS drones extracted from the analyst note published by BIS Research on Imagining BVLOS Drones as Skyline of the Future.

Applications of BVLOS Drones:

  1. Precision Agriculture: Under precision agriculture, BVLOS drones can be used for activities such as crop monitoring, nutrient management/VRT optimization, pesticides application, irrigation management efficiency, and cattle herding.
  2. Disaster Management: In case of disaster management, BVLOS drones can be used for activities such as flash flood recovery, lifeguard assistance, search and rescue, wildfire mapping/fighting, structural integrity/assessment, high rise building fire-fighting, disaster tracking, and disaster reconnaissance and management
  3. Energy and Utilities: The energy and utility plants are often located at places where manual inspection can be a tedious and time-taking process; thus, BVLOS drones are of great help in such a scenario. They can help with the monitoring of activities such as wind turbine inspection, power line/poles surveys, substation inspection, hydroelectric facilities inspection, and risk monitoring.
  4. Security: BVLOS drones are of great help in case of surveillance and security, as they can help with activities such as aerial photography, border control, highway traffic surveillance, missing persons facial recognition, law enforcement, critical site monitoring, and intruder detection.
  5. Environmental Study: BVLOS drones can be quite handy while studying forests, landscapes, and weather. These drones can be deployed for several activities such as managing wildlife conservation, climate change monitoring, shipping emission monitoring, reforestation, weather monitoring, and environmental monitoring.
  6. Telecom Industry: For the telecom infrastructure, BVLOS drones can be used for activities such as inspection, maintenance, and expansion of communication towers .
  7. Oil and Gas Industry: Oil and gas extraction units/plants are often located at places that are difficult to reach, especially if they are situated in the middle of a sea. However, from time to time, such units/plants need maintenance, and regular activity data is also required. Thus, BVLOS drones can be used for inspection and other activities across such units/plants.
  8. Media and Entertainment. One of the biggest industries where BVLOS drones are high in demand is the media and entertainment industry. BVLOS drones can be used for activities such as cinematography, journalism, targeted ads/promotional vehicles, and drone racing/entertainment for the media and entertainment industry.
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