Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS Drone-powered Solutions), the UAE born drone service provider, has been ranked 12th globally and made it on the Top 40 Drone Service Providers 2019 list released by DRONEII.COM.
It was also ranked 7th globally in the category of mapping, surveying, and inspections. FEDS Drone-powered Solutions is the only company based in the Middle East out of 40 other listed DSPs.
The company has successfully completed 200+ projects in the Middle East and Africa and celebrated 13,000 flights this year.
FEDS Drone-powered Solutions utilizes the latest technology applications, data collection and analytics tools powered by AI. With 4 types of drones (fixed-wings, multirotor, indoor-drones, submersible ROV) and at least 15 different models, FEDS Drone-powered Solutions delivers stunning aerial photography, 3D mapping, aerial surveys, inspections, or any other aerial services with each solution uniquely tailored to their clients’ needs. Company already has presence in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia.
In an exclusive interview with FEDs, headed by Rabih Bou Rashid, CEO, we present a case study on the efficiency and deliverables of these drones.
Case Study: Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
An overview of one of the latest projects FEDs serviced
The use of drones for smart agriculture for the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). The project was to map all the farms in the UAE so the ministry can initially have a base map with real up-to-date information on what is actually on the ground. This data can be used for statistical reasons at early stages but eventually, a lot of smart data can be generated.
Models used during the project?
In order to achieve a project of that scale, it’s worth mentioning here it was never attempted before anywhere in the world.
A special team was put together made of Aeronautical engineers, remote sensing data scientists and a small army of GIS analysts and a fleet of 12 drones equipped with sensors capable of collecting the needed data.
How was it used?
The project was split into 3 phases The Aeronautical team was responsible for pre-planning all the flights and actually doing the flights covering all the farmland.
The data team was responsible for the data processing and all the feature extractions. Once all flight approvals were acquired, the project kick-started.
How many times?
We flew almost every day during the winter season between September and April and with successful targets achieved, the project should be repeated on a yearly basis. The reason for flying in that season is obviously because annual crops do not survive the summer.
What challenges did the drones solve?
The Ministry had the environment, food security and the farmers in mind when they launched this project.
Huge benefits can come from such exercise and a few examples are: Controlled water usage, since drone data can easily identify the size of the farmland; the distance between plants and trees and from there calculate the water needs of such farm. The farmer will then be advised if he is overwatering and causing wastage. Another benefit would be Soil study to figure out if a farmer is using the best crop for his soil and the ministry can then advise him accordingly and much more.
What tech was involved in addition to drones?
Drones alone are just smart flying machines that can autonomously fly, but are almost useless without the right sensors. These sensors do the data capturing allowing them to be converted into maps. In addition to sensors, we had to rely on AI to do most of the feature extraction as we were dealing with millions and millions of data points. The software had to be developed in house as well as such modules do not exist elsewhere as the data to train them did not exist until now.
What was the life of the batteries used across deployed drones?
We used fixed-wing drones to be able to cover large areas. These type of drones are fairly aerodynamic and can fly longer than the average drone.
We were achieving about an hour per flight and about 4 to 6 flights per drone covering about 20 km² per day.
How do you maintain them to stay operational for a prolonged period of time?
We have an in-house maintenance team that runs a stringent process to make sure all the drones are maintained on a regular basis to meet the UAE’s airworthiness standards.