Commercial UAV Expo content at Amsterdam Drone Week  

September 5-7, 2023  •  Caesars Forum  •  Las Vegas

Session Details

Industry Vertical Insights: The Where and What of Drone Applications

Sep 07 2023

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PDT

Room 309

Professionals in numerous industries have utilized drones in unexpected ways to create real value. Where specifically is this value being created though? And what does it mean to measure this value? What are some of the considerations and risk-management factors inherent in choices when it comes to in-house drone programs, outsourcing these services, or using a hybrid approach?

Hear from industry stakeholders as well as drone program operators and team members as they discuss the roadmap to success through the implementation of drones as part of especially unique case studies that show where drones can create measurable and immeasurable value.

Session moderated by Ashley Hanson, John Deere

Autonomous Robots Vs Traditional CMS: An Independent Study of Mining's Top Innovations

The use of autonomous robots in underground mining operations has been gaining steam over the course of the past decade, but what real-world impacts is this innovative technology providing for the mining industry? In September of 2022, USC Consulting Group (USCCG) conducted an independent evaluation of the ExynAero – an autonomous aerial robot from Exyn Technologies – being utilized at the Northern Star Resources Limited's Pogo mine site in Alaska. The ExynAero full autonomous robot pairs a rotating LiDAR unit with a flight platform in order to perform cavity mapping surveys within open stopes. This hardware, combined with what is now the highest level of aerial autonomy, Level 4A Autonomy (AL4), allows survey teams to map deeper, more accurately, safer, and faster than before. Over the course of a two-day study USCCG was able to observe the survey team mapping live stopes utilizing the new drone technology on the ExynAero and compare it to the traditional boom and scanner CMS method. The analysis of operations and data showed the ExynAero to be significantly better specifically in the areas of safety, survey quality, and time savings. During this panel, our speakers will present an overview of how autonomous are currently used underground, a typical workflow using a drone to replace a traditional CMS, and the safety and efficiency benefits autonomous robots bring to underground mining operations.

Raffi Jabrayan, Exyn Technologies

Mastering the Basics for 70% Improvements

Use cases of how mastering the basics allow you to rapidly scale a program in order to reap the rewards of up to 70% improvement in system reliability. We will cover a few use cases of various scale that will walk the audience through how to apply drones methodically from a substation level up to an entire system and how that translates to a massive improvement of reliability. Additionally we will walk through how that can be portrayed to senior leadership as far as realized ROI for system operators.

Eric Bitzko, Firmatek

A-Z Drone Data Workflow

There has been much debate about the effectiveness of drone aerial surveys and the data delivered as a result. Specifically, many feel that GCPs are not necessary and thus not included in their workflow, preferring to post process the data using various tools and/or software to obtain desired accuracy. I feel strongly that the use of GCPs delivers superior accuracy, providing that they are properly placed and recorded. My presentation will establish: (a) the proper workflow for the measurement and recording of site GCPs and checkpoints; (b) workflow for aerial survey using the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise RTK drone; (c) workflow for image processing (photogrammetry) – including GCP and checkpoint import and tagging; (d) creation of digital surface model (DSM), orthomosaic and point cloud; (e) earthwork volume calculations and routine earthwork progress reports. My workflow returns centimeter grade accuracy on all sites flown. I welcome any and all suggestions about ways to potentially improve the presentation.

Chris Greene, Bullseye Construction, Inc.

Industrial Unmanned Aerial Systems (iUAS) – Surveying a 737 Fuselage Indoors

Each month, Spirits ships approximately thirty-five 737 fuselages on rail cars to Renton, WA so Boeing can make its final product. Spirit is documenting the condition of supply after a fuselage is placed on a rail car. Four different indoor tracks are used to load a 737 onto a rail car. About five feet separates one fuselage from the next when the rail pit is fully loaded. That makes autonomous flight challenging in such tight quarters, especially with a thirty-four inch radius obstacle avoidance bubble. From an industrial manufacturing-focused perspective, the UAS industry has leaned on a GPSenabled environment and has opportunity for improvement when utilized indoors. A GPS-denied environment, while still navigable, introduces some challenges already resolved in the outdoor world. For instance, mission planning a 900-image survey on a 737 Fuselage is not fun as mission planning systems are generally designed for a GPS-enabled environment. The Skydio S2+ Enterprise 3D Scan software does a nice job of real-time mission planning and has been used successfully on 737 fuselage(s), but not when the rail pit is fully loaded, six fuselages wide. The location of the rail car on its tracks is not repeatable. Adding to the challenge is the need to keep all data in-house, making “The cloud,” quickly evaporate as an option. Safety is critical and NDAA Compliance is a must for Spirit’s environment, so challenges continue to come. For a repeatable process, from takeoff to landing, through multiple batteries, data download, processing and reporting all processes must ultimately be automated. This presentation will talk about how these and other challenges are being resolved at Spirit.

Glen Cork, Spirit AeroSystems Inc.

Become a Premier Program from Nothing

Present from being told no to being known as the premier drone program on the central coast of California. Learn from our mistakes and lessons. The equipment that worked for our needs. Unique tactics we have learned along the way from payload dropping life vests to creating concealment with a bedsheet. How to get the public on our side and convince city council to spend money. The success stories that impressed my administration to spend money on what was originally described as a toy. We have already assisted several other agencies get started from concept to deploying. I will talk about deploying five drones at a time for operations, the capture of a robbery suspect, occupied stolen vehicle, and several illegal fireworks. I will explain how my department of 25 sworn has 10 pilots. The culture of the drone program has changed our department to the normal training for a new hire would in Part 107. Budgeting for new updated equipment, video storage, achieving waivers in your coat for things you might need. Gain coveted space in a crowded department building.

Matthew Goodman, Grover Beach Police Department

Have questions for the speakers or moderator? Submit your questions and comments for consideration below.

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Exyn Technologies

John Deere


Spirit AeroSystems Inc.

Bullseye Construction, Inc.

Grover Beach Police Department

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