Drones have been making an impact in the construction, agricultural, surveying, and industrial markets such as chemical, oil & gas, electric power generation and T&D, mining, and refining, among others. Advances in autonomous operations, smart sensors and cameras, advanced analytics and machine learning, application software platforms, and traffic management are progressing. Advancements in drone autonomy and performance are often outpacing the ability of regulatory agencies such as the FAA to keep pace and thus slows greater adoption, as beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) waivers and Type Certifications are not easily (or quickly) obtained.
In this session we will review some leading drone inspection technologies and look at how applications such as automated inspections, leak detection/methane monitoring, and surveying & mapping, among others are evolving in the US and abroad. Discussion on how drones are really mobile data platforms and how data is collected, analyzed and utilized to empower operational excellence will be had. Autonomous operations, including drones and robotics, are expected to play a greater role in the future and these solutions are expected to help play a role in sustainability as they reduce carbon emissions from planes, helicopters and other vehicles and their ability to monitor and manage methane emissions and CO2 levels will likely have a positive impact as companies push for sustainability and continue on their energy transition journeys.