Shai Shilo - Remote Technology Solutions - Civilian usage of long range UAVs: Today, tomorrow and beyond
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Shai Shilo - Remote Technology Solutions - Civilian usage of long range UAVs: Today, tomorrow and beyond



Shai Shilo, Remote Technology Solutions delivered the presentation at the 2014 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the Resources Industry. ...

Shai Shilo, Remote Technology Solutions delivered the presentation at the 2014 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the Resources Industry.

The 2014 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the Resources Industry explored the enormous potential of UAVs within mining and resources operations.

For more information about the event, please visit:



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Shai Shilo - Remote Technology Solutions - Civilian usage of long range UAVs: Today, tomorrow and beyond Shai Shilo - Remote Technology Solutions - Civilian usage of long range UAVs: Today, tomorrow and beyond Presentation Transcript

  • Civilian usage of long range UAVs: today, tomorrow and beyond Shai Shilo, Remote Technology Solutions Pty Ltd
  • Introduction 2
  • • Presentation is aimed at a high level, no detailed analysis. • Some information is my own perspective and may be different to information provided by other presenters. • The use of long-range civilian UAVs is still new – some of the information presented here is “best guess”. • Photos and videos used are in the public domain and/or permission was granted to use materials. • Some background information is commercial in confidence so apologies for not being specific in places. • I will showcase some products but my intent is not to promote any specific company. Disclaimer 3
  • Civilian usage of long-range UAVs 4 Technology improvements (as an enabler) • Batteries, frames, motors, autopilots, etc. • The ‘eBay Drone’ (or how easy it is to build a drone) • Super drones Constraints: barriers to entry • Safety and Privacy • Regulation (UAV and RF) • Costs / Business case Logistics and economic considerations • Runways / hangars / other equipment / fuel / maintenance • Crews / Training • Hidden costs Future opportunities and applications • LIDAR, FLIR, Multi-spectral sensors, • Examples of current and future uses
  • What is a long range UAV? 5 Beyond visual range
  • Technology improvements 6 • Not long ago, UAVs have only been available to the military. • It is relatively easy and not very costly to buy or build a long range UAV (or convert a model airplane to a fully autonomous UAV). • Components required to build a UAV are readily available: • Frames, Batteries, Motors, Receivers, Controllers • Autopilots / Flight controllers • Open source software and hardware developments • Prices are continuously decreasing while specifications and variety are increasing. • There are now numerous online stores that provide UAV components and systems • Bottom Line: It is getting easier and easier to get UAVs to fly further and longer. • Challenge • build a fully functional Quadcopter from components that I can source online and in hobby shops. I call it the ‘eBay drone’.
  • Components of an ‘eBay Drone’ 7 - Fully autonomous - Waypoint navigation - Range of safety features (incl. RTL, batt. low, etc.)
  • Model aircraft conversion 8 There are many examples of using modified remote control airplane in low-cost, long range and applications. seeks to share knowledge of building and using low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles for conservation- related applications with conservation workers and researchers worldwide, especially those in developing countries.
  • Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Super Heron Long range, long endurance 9 • A wide range of both military and commercial UAVs available on the market for long range and long endurance applications. • The Super Heron HF (Heavy Fuel) • Launched: Feb 2014 at the Singapore Airshow • Power: 200hp diesel engine • Top speed: 150 knots • Endurance: up to 48 hours • Range: up to 1,000 kms • Max. Altitude: 30,000 ft • Price: ~ USD 80M
  • Dominator UAV – aircraft conversion 10
  • The scalability challenge 11 Local operations Line of sight (eye) Short range / endurance Limited payloads Low Cost / Commercially viable Remote operations Beyond line of sight (radio) Long range / endurance Large payloads High Cost / Commercially not viable Need something in between! vs.
  • Hundreds of different models are available in the market today: • Multiple sizes and configurations • Range and Endurance (typically 5 to 12 hours, 10 to >100kms) • Power options (petrol, diesel or electrical) • Payload capacity and options • Communications systems • Weather capabilities Some come from military but there are many that are not Long range medium and tactical UAVs 12
  • • Generally focused (not just resource industry). • There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. • Dependant on specific applications. • Different users will have different considerations. • New technology attracts much scrutiny. • Regulation is main constraint, but there are others. Constraints: barriers to entry 13
  • CASA is the responsible body in Australia • Current legislation does not restrict operation beyond line of sight (but CASA approval still required) • Focus on safety and regulation to protect other aircraft and people on the ground • Difference between operating in remote / urban areas. • CASA is interested in ensuring hardware, software, communications systems and human factors are safe and fit for purpose. Regulatory requirements (CASA) 14
  • Challenge to CASA … Witches on broomsticks 15
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the responsible body in Australia • Bandwidth allocation. • Compliance with radio usage. • Interference issues. • Registration of equipment and systems. • Guidelines for usage. Regulatory requirements (RADIO) 16
  • • CASA safety considerations: • Towards other aircraft. • Towards people on the ground. • Fly-aways and crashes. • Mine / site requirements (OH & S) • Flying in vicinity of operations and personnel. • Safety assessments (operators not familiar with site). • Crashes • Recovery and access issues if UAV crashes in land owned by others. • Threat of fire from combustible engines. • Terrorism and sabotage Safety considerations 17
  • • As always, this is a contentious issue • Not covered in detail in this presentation • CASA regulations do not address privacy issues. • Less of an issue flying over remote areas than populated areas. • Will be more of an issue as the use of UAVs becomes more prevalent. Privacy issues 18
  • • Long range UAVs require significant investments • Total cost of ownership: • UAV and associated equipment (comms, mobile GCS, etc.) • Fleet of UAVs? • Safety (costs) • Logistics • Personnel (operators, support staff, FIFO) • Scalability (multiple sites) • Weather conditions • Accuracy of gathered information • Post processing of data Costs / Business case 19
  • Logistics and economic considerations 20 Tactical long-range UAVs • Order of magnitude less than large military UAVs. • Include innovative features for power, take off and landing.
  • VTOL fixed wing UAV 21
  • Delivery drones for e-commerce 22 Why this will NOT happen any time soon … even though there has been much hype in the media recently: • Safety and regulation In flight On ground • Not scalable (needs to be 100% autonomous, distance is limited) • Payload capacity limitations. • Collision avoidance (urban areas) • Threat of hijacking (terrorism) via radio • Will require some traffic management in the sky. • Ensuring the right recipient is reached.
  • Future opportunities and applications 23 • ‘Eye in the sky’ – remote surveillance and reconnaissance • Remote inspections • Environmental monitoring • Aerial photography • LIDAR – emergence of UAV sensors. • Weight: 1 kg • Accuracy: < 2cm • FLIR and Multi spectral cameras: • Demo flights in NZ in Sep 2013 for power line inspections (corona discharge) using FLIR. • Inspections of vegetation, pipe leaks, geological resources
  • LIDAR proof of concept 24
  • Future opportunities and applications 25 • ‘Find and deliver’ • Image recognition • Multi drone solution (one to find, one to deliver) • Cargo transport • Predicted to be in operation within a decade (IAI CEO, Aug 2013) • Imagine: 1. A cargo UAV loads supplies at a warehouse 2. Drives itself to an open field, takes off 3. Flies to a mine site, lands nearby 4. Then drives itself to the stores for unloading. Imagination or reality?
  • AT Black Knight Transformer 26
  • Questions? 27 Thank You!