By Co-founder and CEO, Brandon Torres Declet
This month, we have the honor of accepting Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Award for Growth Excellence at their gala event in California. As I reflect on the achievement, I thought it worthwhile to highlight the initiatives from this year that continue to move us – and the drone industry as a whole – forward.
Expanded Services, Technology, and Reach in Energy
In the first quarter of 2019, our team of pilots and engineers spent a week in California testing and training a new, autonomous wind turbine inspection solution using LiDAR technology. This technology, which uses a 3D flight plan, allows for 100% of the blade to be inspected, without the need for pitching the blades and is fully autonomous and precisely repeatable. As a result of this technological development, we have already sold more wind turbine inspections the first half of this year than we did in all of 2018. Wind has swiftly become a key focal point for us, and we are excited to serve this industry well.
A high resolution image captured for O&M inspection.
Still on the renewable energy front, our solar commitments have increased by 40% over last year, as our solar operation continues to improve its efficiency and data product. (See how we collect, analyze, and share solar data from inspections in the video here). We also continue to serve the greater solar community by adding solar roof inspections to our list of services, which has taken off in only a few short months.
Research and Development Initiatives
On top of an exciting first half of the year for growth, we have invested a lot of time, talent, and energy into research and development initiatives that will not only benefit Measure, but the drone industry as a whole.
We are performing exciting machine learning work alongside our partners AES and Google to employ Google’s AutoML Vision technology to automatically identify defects on wind turbines and improve the speed of data analysis. Our team of expert data analysts worked with Google to validate and refine the machine learning model through each stage of development and is providing on-going expertise regarding turbine defect identification and classification to continuously advance the model’s results. This work has the potential to change the future of energy operations, providing rich cost savings and efficiencies, and I can’t express how exciting it is to be part of it.
We obtained top talent to support our partnership with NUAIR at the New York UAS Test Site in Rome, New York. Ian Joyce is our expert on-site, running operational tests with select UTM Service Suppliers to help NUAIR and its partners demonstrate how an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) ecosystem would operate. This work has the potential to permanently change the UAV industry, hopefully leading to open doors for BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) operations in the U.S.
We have also partnered with AiRXOS, part of GE Aviation, to provide a holistic inspection solution that overcomes the regulatory and performance complexities of advanced drone operations such as beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and multiple unmanned aircraft operations (Multi-UA). This is important work that helps organizations operate complex and significant drone missions safely and effectively with full compliance. We have thousands of commercial operations under our belt while maintaining an industry-leading safety record with zero reportable incidents, and our motto has been “safe, legal, and insured” since the very beginning. This partnership with AiRXOS helps maximize the benefits of deploying drones across energy operations.
Drone Software Advancement
In 2018, we launched our all-in-one drone program management tool, Ground Control™. Since then, our software development team has been working around-the-clock to add advanced features (such as web-based flight planning and advanced grid flight), creating a truly robust tool that I am proud to say is helping enterprise organizations plan, execute, and track their drone programs at scale.
Companies including Costar, AES, Syngenta, and NTSB are streamlining their drone operations through our comprehensive program management portal and user-friendly commercial flight application, with help from our on-staff, US-based support and development team. Stay tuned as we roll-out even more exciting data processing and visualization tools in the coming month that will strengthen our position when it comes to managing aerial intelligence.
I am amazed at the talent, dedication, and drive of our entire team. Our pilots, engineers, and operations team go in the field day in and day out, performing complex operations often in harsh conditions. Our data team has undertaken an ever-increasing quantity of work, adding new data products, and continuously improving data output for clients. Our software development team remains resilient and steadfast in an environment where client expectations are high and constantly evolving. Our sales and marketing teams educate and inform organizations on how to improve their operational performance and do a remarkable job of working with other departments to ensure client satisfaction. Our product team works diligently behind the scenes to develop high-value, relevant services and products. Our finance and legal folks keep us all accountable to each other, the industry, and the company. And finally, our leadership team relentlessly continues to push us all to do bigger and better things, and to challenge our expertise.
I’m humbled to work with an impressive group of people with such passion for the drone industry, and I could not be more honored to receive the Frost & Sullivan award as recognition of everyone's hard work. This award will be a great addition to the Measure office.