OSLO, NORWAY:  IRIS Group conduct what is believed to be the first streaming of 4G wireless video direct from a UAV in one country to another, to an international audience at the annual Telenor Partner Conference.

As part of the work to inform Beyond Line of Visual Sight (BVLOS) use for Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) in the commercial sector in Norway, the “eSmart Systems Connected Drone” project has been set up with the following major partners – telecom company Telenor, Microsoft, Robot Aviation, the universities of Tromso and Trondheim, Teleplan Globe and the UAS Managed Services company IRIS Group that has offices and operations in both the UK and Norway.

One of the primary aims of the project is to create and develop cheaper, more efficient and safer inspection processes in the energy sector.  The maintenance of powerlines to date, for example has mainly been conducted manually – often dangerous work, supported by the use of manned helicopters, which are expensive. If such inspections can be routinely done by UAS over long distances, out of sight of the operators, then the benefits to the customer will be significant.

In this harsh environment, the concept of “eSmart Systems Connected Drone” is to attach commercially available RPAS technology with a new generation of information technology based on “big data,” machine learning and real-time analysis. The intelligent software will compare data collected from drones and a variety of other sources of information to provide new and hitherto unavailable insights and results about an energy companies’ infrastructure.

Watching a live video feed from a UAV conducting an inspection in the UK, in a conference room in Oslo, Norway via a wireless 4G signal was an extremely impressive sight and showed that the “Connected Drone” project, although still in its early days, was already making significant progress. “Being the early bird with this technology provides a very good basis for being able to create significant market share in the international market with has huge potential”, says Tore Lie, the Project Manager for the Connected Drone team.