September 30 2021

Telecom Management With Skydio Autonomous Drones - Inspection ebook Vol 5

Guillaume Delepine

Skydio drones are all about working smarter, not harder, through AI-powered autonomous flight. With the announcement of Skydio 3D Scan, we introduced a new way to think about enterprise drone flights. Now, instead of having to fly manual drones far away from the objects that need to be documented or inspected, Skydio drones use AI to adapt their flight pattern to any scene, and any given resolution requirement. With such a new way to fly the drone, comes an entirely new way to choose which drone to fly. Our Enterprise Drone Inspection ebook, which we are releasing over the course of nine volumes over the coming months, is designed to help program managers navigate this expansive new set of options.

Today, we are releasing Volume 5 of the eBook, which is titled: “High-precision Telecom Management: How to get decision-quality data from your drone program.” In this volume, we dive deep into telecom inspections through 3D model and photo comparisons performed with the support of Skydio’s Image Quality team, led by former GoPro Image Quality Test Engineer, Russell Bondi.

Telecom inspections are absolutely critical for ensuring uptime and safety of America’s cellular networks. However, inspecting America’s roughly 120,000 cell towers comes at extensive cost and risk to climbers. Tower climbing is one of America’s most dangerous jobs, with fatalities reported nearly every year. Drones can help to generate fully comprehensive inspection datasets, while their operators remain in safety on the ground. The below graphic shows how downstream operators can benefit from porting the datasets generated by 3D Scan to 3rd party 3D modeling software.


Pointivo’s Tower Analytics platform has processed tens of thousands of towers using various different drone hardware platforms for capture. However, incorporating scans from a Skydio 2 using 3D Scan optimizes accuracy and richness of both the 3D model and 2D inspection, allowing technicians to perform virtual tower inspections and mount mappings, all while safely on the ground. Pointivo Tower Analytics supported by Skydio’s autonomous data capture delivers superior dimensional accuracy measuring antennas, ancillary equipment and mount systems to help drive various engineering workflows and deliverables, such as tower mappings, construction drawings and post-construction closeout reports.

However, not all drones are created equal. Last generation manual drones cannot be flown up close to metallic structures without introducing high crash risk, so manufacturers have raced to add larger, and more expensive, camera payloads that can zoom in from far away. Skydio’s autonomous drones can accomplish better inspections with smaller cameras simply by being able to fly closer to the subject, reducing the requirement to carry such precious camera payloads.

With an expanding set of options, it is no longer good enough to simply buy the drone with the biggest camera. To unlock these next-generation operations, drone program managers need to know they will be able to generate the data they need to make and communicate decisions. We sincerely hope that these materials, with their in-depth dataset comparisons, will make your upcoming drone decisions easier as you build and scale your fleets. Choose confidently and safe flying!


Download Volume 5 of the ebook here.