Drone Harmony is Revolutionizing the Cell Tower Inspection Industry

Early July sees the release of Drone Harmony’s automated capture app designed for the sole purpose of cell tower inspections. Planning and setting up the inspection flight with Drone Harmony takes about 5 – 10 minutes. A game changer.

Luzern, Switzerland – July 6, 2018

Cell tower inspections, the majority of which are still conducted by manned inspections, are both expensive and dangerous. Manual cell tower inspection is in fact among the most dangerous jobs, outnumbering in deaths per 10,000 workers both police work and logging. Automated workflows have proven their potential to reduce the death toll to zero and to cut inspection costs by as much as 50%.

While the hardware has been around for a couple of years now, the related software ecosystem has been lacking, leading to slow and cumbersome workflows from data acquisition, through digital model creation to report generation, thus eating up of the aforementioned promised reduction in costs. Furthermore, large site owners were reluctant to deploy drones at scale due to the lack of country-wide service providers, or simple enough end to end solutions that could be integrated into their on-site activities. All of this is now changing, and Drone Harmony is playing a key role.

Cell Tower Scan is a new Android app based on Drone Harmony’s mission planning framework, featuring a scene-centered workflow, a full 3D planning environment and obstacle avoidance.

Missions for flying the tower with a number of capture methodologies can be automatically generated for the defined tower. A simple positioning calibration tool allows user to achieve pinpoint accuracy. Finally, the app was stripped down to the simplest interface possible, but which still allows performing complex tower scans with a click of a button. Using it literally requires minimal experience with drones and a half-hour training session.

The iGlobe Group which is a specialized integrator, focussing on geospatial orientated applications in the mining, municipality, utility, and private sector, has already tested Drone Harmony Cell Tower Scan extensively. Both managers and pilots are enthusiastic about this app. They were able to reduce the inspection time from 19 to just 8 hours and drastically increase the quality of the deliverable.

Drone Harmony’s unique mission planning framework, which is in the core of Cell Tower Scan, is set to reinvent the way people fly drones commercially. Drone Harmony’s workflow puts the captured objects in the center while abstracting away traditional technicalities associated with drone mission planning, such as waypoint placing and trajectory adjustment. Instead, the user is able to interact with the app in an intuitive goal-oriented way. This is achieved through a combination of technologies from automated flight planning in a full 3D environment to automatic obstacle avoidance. A result is a tool that is able to accomplish a complex task in
faster, safer, reproducible and more accurate way, even when used by novice pilot.
Drone Harmony works with a number of industry partners on drone workflow automation for various industrial use cases, including Bentley System’s Reality Modelling team, SiteSee (AUS), The iGlobe Group (RSA), VertSpec (USA) and EasyInspect (Denmark), as well as dozens of customers and resellers around the world. Drone Harmony enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with these companies on projects ranging beyond cell tower inspections.

Drone Harmony was founded in 2016 by a team of problem solvers with a passion for drones, software and automation. From the very early days, Drone Harmony have set out to tackle the mathematical and engineering challenges of enabling cost-effective deployment of drone technology in industries, where existing technologies were unable to deliver.