by Tina Olivero

    LiDAR Drones: The Exponential Efficiency Factor

    When you consider the sun, and its powerful ability to light up the world, it’s not that far of a stretch to imagine the world where we harness light to enhance our experiences in the world. We’ve harnessed light with the invention of the light bulb. We have advanced with light into laser technology. And now we have moved forward into laser pulses that map our world in new and creative ways.  This laser pulse mapping advancement has meant that companies looking to increase efficiencies of operation now have a solution that just might elevate results exponentially.


    Drones operating offshore

    How it works

    Imagine being able to fly over a remote location and immediately see its potential for a real estate development project by mapping the terrain with exact precision.
    Imagine capturing the full width, scope, and scale of an iceberg headed straight for your oil rig giving you all the information you need to change its course. Imagine using LiDAR information to help identify potential mineral deposits. Imagine assessing an environmental crisis by seeing it from a unique vantage point and being able to mitigate damages as a result.  Imagine the freedom of being able to evaluate operations on a rig that would be otherwise daunting to humans because of variables like height and location.
    Imagine being able to monitor pipelines with unprecedented accuracy. (See Video here)
    Imagine building an oil platform, GBS or topsides, and having drone photo-progress and LiDAR reports on a regular basis that optimize efficiencies of operation.
    It’s now all possible…


    LiDAR Landscape Image

    Drones with LiDAR

    Mapping, measuring, manipulating and modifying, that’s what the “light inventors” had in mind when they created LiDAR for drones.

    LiDAR on drones is a new technology that uses a laser light scanner to replicate the landscape that it measures. A laser scanner attached to a drone (or UAV) uses light pulses to observe, measure, picture and reproduce a scene. This is the fundamental principle behind LiDAR, but the applications are truly limitless.

    Quickly being adopted by world leaders in oil and gas and engineering sectors, drones equipped with LiDAR have become one of the “next best things” for harnessing efficiencies and reducing projects costs all the while addressing safety measures at an entirely new level.

    With Drones and LiDAR, the oil and gas industry can fly over an iceberg and measure with accuracy its height and full composition making it super easy to track, move or assess the best course of action to take with that iceberg. Because Drones are Unmanned, projects are less risky, more profitable and safer.

    LiDAR can support global projects such as the construction of the West White Rose gravity base structure. This advanced technology would permit site location analysis, project development efficiencies, identify possible safety hazards, advance progress and processes, be an essential tool in situational monitoring, support asset management, enhance environmental assessment, as well as offer a critical vantage point for safety.

    The applications of LiDAR are unlimited, and it depends on the ingenuity and creativity of a team to adapt the technology to its highest function and user-ability. Engineering teams who seek to architect, build and execute projects will utilize LiDAR in new and unique ways, ultimately saving time, money and lives.


    RPM brings LiDAR to Newfoundland & Labrador

    For the first time in history, unmanned aerial LiDAR will become airborne in Newfoundland, with the use of Drones. The brainchild of visionaries Claudette Hickey and Brian Lundrigan, owners of RMP Aerial Services, have adopted the LiDAR technology in the province. It is “the next best thing,” happening to large-scale construction and oil and gas projects.


    LIDAR Technology in action

    Brian says, “Drones and their payloads are becoming so incredibly advanced that they can support the construction and operation of offshore platforms more effectively and efficiently than before. ”

    Brian proudly described a drone’s purpose offshore, “This past summer we completed our first mission of placing a GPS tracker on icebergs offshore.  With the assistance of John Olivero and Rick Stanley of the Ocean Quest team, we were able to use our drones to position GPS trackers on the iceberg which allowed us to track that iceberg with phenomenal accuracy. We expect drone advances in the offshore to continue to improve and we predict they will be the foundation of operations in the coming years”.

    Drones and icebergs

    RPM Aerial Services tracking icebergs

    Claudette Hickey has dedicated her life to her company RPM.  She’s committed to the advancement of this technology in our province and says, “We can define a Drone as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) combined with a ground control station. With applications far-reaching this technology has now proven itself a profitable solution for exploration and production in the oil and gas sector. We are extremely excited to work with the energy and construction industries to optimize project efficiencies.  Some of the immediate applications we see with Drones include; assisting in offshore oil process efficiencies, asset monitoring, and maintenance, procedural efficiencies, iceberg tracking, elevating operation and production results, environmental integrity and assessment, safety regimes and reducing costs overall.”

    iceberg drones

    Claudette says, “We envision the application for our drones to be in some leading industry sectors including; oil and gas, real estate, construction, and property restoration. LiDAR is so new that we haven’t even begun to understand the full capabilities of its applications in those sectors, but we are excited to discover them.  Our core focus will be to provide Aerial Services for companies requiring high-end UAV services and to work on larger projects that want to save on project expenditures with the use of our drones and LiDAR.”


    The drone hovering over a construction site used for video surveillance and industrial inspection.

    The OGM reports on the UK Guidelines for use of Drones.
    Canadian UAVs and Lockheed Martin CDL Systems completed the first BVLOS pipeline, well site and power line inspections using the Lockheed Martin Indago 2 at the UAV Testing Facility in Foremost, Alberta

    For more information on Drones and LiDAR in Atlantic Canada, please go to www.rpmaerialinc.ca

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