The winds of change, Windblown forestry, storm Arwen and Drone Technology

The winds of change, Windblown forestry, storm Arwen and Drone Technology

Drones in Forestry

The winds of change, Windblown forestry, storm Arwen and Drone Technology, The monitoring and observance of forests and woodlands can pose a tiresome and exhaustive process in a sense that requires an abundant amount of workforce and skills and appropriate resources. when a catastrophic event hits it it becomes increasingly difficult for the forestry managers and workers to take immediate action owing to the large span of areas that constitute forests and the dangers that it produces.

As a means of relief, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) help in terms of aerial surveillance, mapping, aerial photography, thermal imagery, and topographic monitoring. Subsequently, enabling forestry managers to take swift and immediate action and make increased and faster decisions based on real time data. this also aids in wildlife conservation, biodiversity and vegetation conservation, the balance of ecology, and similar aspects of forestry by getting back to normal as quickly as possible.

Tree health and disease detection

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning fuelling the drones have proved beneficial in the space of tree disease detection and prevention. LiDAR sensors in drones help accumulate and process data attributed to the wellbeing of trees, vegetation, and bushlands. Thermal imagery, topographic surveying, aerial mapping help locate diseased flora and navigate horticulturists and forest officials towards improving their conditions.

Windblown Storm Arwen

In November 2021 parts of the UK and predominantly the Scottish Borders and Cumbria were hit with winds gusting more than 75mph with the highest being 98mph in Northumberland.

The winds of change, Windblown forestry, storm Arwen and Drone Technology

As well as devastation to property, infrastructure, and utilities, large areas of woodland were devastated with more than approximately 1 million Metric tonnes of windblown trees and an estimated 4000 hectares of land (just smaller than Dundee) roughly 1/3 of what would be felled nationally in a given year.

Although windblown events are rare and hard to predict, when they happen the after-effects can be devastating with forestry management plans shattered, plans that could have been planned to encompass forest management and timber felling and replanting, sustainability for the next 5 or 10 years.

Forestry and Estate managers have a huge task calculating affected areas, clearance, felling permissions, all before a plan for replanting.

Windblown areas can be highly dangerous areas with uprooted trees blocking access partly fallen and weak trees ready to fall at any time, some weighing over 3500 kilos (3.5 tonnes) creating a serious risk to life for forest workers.

Application of drone technology

Utilising drone technology at the right time can improve workflow by gathering vital data in the hours and days after an that can help facilitate quicker applications for felling, understanding the site and the extent of the damage, access routes, damage to utilities and other structures, priority clearance.

Windblown-forestry-Iprosurv-storm-arwin

If the data is collected correctly the production of Ortho-mosaic topography, lidar maps, digital terrain models, digital surface models.

Multiple file formats Tif, Tiff for import into GIS high-definition JPEG, 4k video, LIDAR, NDVI and NDRE, Thermal the information using the correct platform such as Iprosurv’s proprietary platform could be shared instantly with multiple stakeholders, insurers, loss adjusters, government organisations, contractors, forestry managers, and owners but to name a few.

Satellite Imagery vs Drone

By their true essence, Satellites have been immensely useful in the space of monitoring and surveillance by providing imagery and wide visual content. Their dynamic abilities help capture bountiful facets associated with many industries in which forestry is one of them.

storm arwen satellite imagery

They have no limited time frame of functioning or power issues and can produce results conveniently. Despite these qualities, satellites encompass a fair number of demerits that include compressed and sketchy aerial imagery as opposed to those captured by drones and UAVs.

Overcoming the disparate challenges and obstacles that come in the way of forestry, drone technology has helped surpass the same through its varied applications. Thrusting the abstraction of aerial imagery and monitoring, drone applications have brought the specialization of topographic surveillance, aerial photography, thermal imagery, and more to the forefront of forest cultivation.

Storm-arwin-Iprosurv-windblown

The flexibility of drones allows them to capture high-resolution images and video in real-time, even during the humid tropical climate. Artificial Intelligence-powered drones, along with drones that use LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and NDVI (Normalised Differential Vegetation Index) can monitor and inspect large areas with focussed coverage that yields faster and more precise results and data.

Introducing drones into your business

Drones in your business, Advice, Guidance, Consultancy.

At Iprosurv we understand that taking on new technology can be daunting especially when there is so much to consider, types of drone, applications, software outputs, regulation and training. it easy to understand why some businesses just decide to avoid implementing drones into their workflow.

That’s why we run advice, guidance, and consultancy service, to offer businesses the opportunity to explore the use of drones without the cost, see our page on “Drones in your business, advice, guidance, consultancy”. to see if you would like to explore any of the services we offer whether that be, a house managed service, Iprosurv managed service or, expanding on your current drone operations.

The future of forestry

With the speed of deployment and the addition of multiple data outputs, GIS integration, health and safety mitigation, area coverage, and not forgetting cost as opposed to more traditional methods drones have to be a consideration within your forestry management workflow.

Redefining the elements of forestry, drone technology entails merits towards the progress and advancement of the forest ecosystems. Drones, in this realm, push the boundaries of forest cultivation and maintenance, redeeming wildlife and vegetation, while also monitoring risks to prevent the felling of trees. With the adoption of drones, forestry can witness a high cascade of improvement and growth, like never before!

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We Will Remember Them 11/11/2021


With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal,
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation,
And a glory that shines upon her tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known,
As the stars are known to the night.


As the stars will be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

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Iprosurv: Leading the way to a more professional sector

Andrew Hamilton, Iprosurv’s new Director of Training and Development, talks about how he believes training and practical experience are the only way the commercial drone sector will secure the public trust that it needs to thrive.

It’s always exciting to start out on a new part of your career but joining Iprosurv as Director of Training and Development is particularly exciting as it feels we are on the cusp of something big.

Rebecca, the CEO of Iprosurv, will tell you that getting industry switched on to the potential of drones wasn’t an overnight thing and she and co-founder Shane have spent the last seven years convincing the world of business, one sector and one organisation at a time, that drones can revolutionise their operations.

And of course, they’ve not been alone in that – there are a growing number of commercial drone operators up and down the country doing the same and it is great to see them turning more and more organisations on to drones.

But that growth comes with a risk. There is still a general wariness of drones and while some organisations have plunged in, the majority are still dipping their toe to see what happens.

What every company experiences when they try drones for the first time, will have an impact on their perception of the drone sector and that one experience with one pilot can have serious consequences for all of us. Our collective reputation is at risk with every flight undertaken which is why it is so important that every flight is performed to the highest standards.

While it is a concern, it is also a huge opportunity for everyone in the sector which is why I’m so excited to have joined Iprosurv and to get started on the training.

My introduction to drones

I got into training by accident really. In 2013, I bought my first Phantom 1 with GoPro Hero 3 camera attached and after completing my drone training I was awarded my first PfCO in October 2014.

At the time, I was a serving Police Officer on the Roads Policing Unit where I was involved in investigating fatal road traffic collisions. At the time, we relied on the police helicopter to provide the aerial footage for our investigations but during one investigation the police helicopter was redeployed to a life-threatening incident and I was unable to get the aerial footage I needed.

So I decided to bring my drone out on patrol with me. Looking at the data the drone had collected was a big moment as we could all see in that one deployment how much more efficient and effective they could be.

I retired from the Police in 2016 but returned in 2017 to set up the first dedicated Police drone unit in the UK with up to 40 pilots and 15 drones. After their initial PfCO courses the drone unit would then teach the officers to fly drones in policing situations which is when my passion for teaching and training revealed itself.

That passion took to me to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as their UAS Sector lead, where I led a team dealing with OSC applications, auditing, oversight and enforcement of drone operators.

From there I became the Lead Instructor for an RAE delivering drone training on behalf of the CAA. The role of an RAE is to assist the CAA in assuring the competence of remote pilots that require an Operational Authorisation through the General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC).

The competency of UA pilots involved in the operation of an unmanned aircraft is one of the main factors in ensuring UA operations remain tolerably safe and give confidence for this industry.

And that was me – hooked on training new drone pilots and providing real flight time experience to them.

It’s all about professionalism

One of the key things that attracted me to Iprosurv was Rebecca and Shane’s commitment to high standards of training for all their pilots and their insistence that the sector had to become more professional if it was ever to fully realise its potential.

The training and development of all pilots in the Iprosurv network, supporting them as they take the step in flight ability and safety, is my number one priority and the more training we provide in new technology, techniques and regulatory requirements, the more professional our pilots will become.

As that professionalism starts to act as a differentiator for Iprosurv, others will hopefully be galvanised to similarly invest in best practice and training. Everyone operating in the commercial drone sector needs to continually challenge themselves and their peers to achieve ever higher standards.

If we do that for ourselves and for each other, I am convinced that we will all secure the trust from the public and from business that we need to ensure that commercial drones secure their rightful place as an intrinsic part of the economy.

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

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Training and professionalism come to the fore as Iprosurv hires former CAA drone sector lead

Andrew Hamilton, former Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) sector lead for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has joined one of the UK’s leading drone services providers, Iprosurv as Training and Development Director.

Ongoing Training and Mentoring

In his new role, Hamilton will be responsible for providing practical and theoretical training in the use of commercial drones to members of Pilot Partnerships, Iprosurv’s growing drone pilot network.

With nearly a decade’s experience in commercial drone flight, Hamilton brings a huge amount of training experience to Iprosurv having set up the UK’s first dedicated police drone unit with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and having acted as lead instructor for a Recognised Assessment Entity on behalf of the CAA.

As all Iprosurv pilots are fully trained and licensed, Hamilton’s role will focus on providing ongoing training and mentoring in new technology and deployment techniques, education on developing regulation and providing practical training for new pilots.

Pilot Partners Highest Industry Standards

Commenting on the appointment, Rebecca Jones, CEO and co-founder of Iprosurv, said: “Andy brings a huge amount of personal flight experience and, most importantly, in training other pilots so we are delighted to have him on board.

“Iprosurv has always had a clear mission to hold ourselves and our pilots to the highest professional and technical standards and with Andy joining us, we can take that to the next level.”

While Hamilton will start work with members of Pilot Partnerships with immediate effect, he has begun the approval process of securing CAA approved training entity status for Iprosurv.

“After gaining your CAA Operational Authorisation, technically, a pilot is eligible to operate a drone in a very congested area like central London,” said Hamilton.

“The standards set by the CAA are high but the opportunity to gain the skills and experience after qualification is missing at the moment and that is the gap I hope to help Iprosurv fill. In much the same way that the Pass Plus is often used by new drivers, we want to introduce the Pass Plus for drone flight.

Training Consistency

“There are many thousands of commercial drone pilots operating in the UK but there is still a huge variation in quality and flight experience. We have to tackle that lack of consistency if we are going to earn the necessary trust of the public and the private sectors.”

Pilot Partnerships was set up earlier this year to provide a professional home for the thousands of independent pilots across the country, delivering consistent training and flight management processes and embedding strong professional standards.

“We are just one of many commercial drone providers in the UK, but what makes Iprosurv pilots stand out is the level of experience they have and the rigorous and continuous training they undertake,” said Jones.

“With Andy joining us, our pilots now have access to one of the most experienced individuals in the market in training and development and we look forward to introducing his expertise to more and more pilots across the country.”

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

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The only perspective is the customer perspective.

One of the industry’s most enthusiastic early adopters of drone technology, Zurich Insurance saw that drones can get places humans can’t and get there quicker too.

Zurich’s UK Chief Claims Officer, David Nichols

So, when Zurich’s UK Chief Claims Officer, David Nichols had a personal roof damage claim, he was keen to see if drones delivered what he thought they did.

And here he gives us some insight from a unique perspective – a claims director experiencing the claims service firsthand.

Delivering a top notch service

As a claims director, you want to be pretty confident that your teams are delivering a top notch service and that the customer experience is always excellent but there is no greater test of your service than being ‘fortunate’ enough to experience claims services yourself. I have to say that everything was what I hoped it would be!

Anyway, the claim went smoothly but the bit I was particularly interested in experiencing was some new technology we have introduced to our claims service – drones.

Smoothing out the claims process

We started using them because we thought it sounded like a great idea. Of course, the decision-making was more detailed than that but in essence, we have been looking for everything and anything that can speed up and smooth out the claims process for customers and drones seemed to be a simple, cost-effective way of doing that.

The obvious, immediate use is in claims where we can’t access the site such as in major floods or fires. Drones provide immediate access, but they also provide detailed imagery, measurements and a host of other data, putting our claims teams on the front foot.

It speeds up our processes and brings the customer closer to a clear decision, either way, in hours rather than weeks.

Iprosurv media viewing page for customers and clients

But there is an added benefit to using drones – customer engagement. The ability to share images of the damage with a customer and being able to explain next steps immediately provides reassurance and we are able to bring the customer into the claims conversation in a way we haven’t been able to before. Images provide the immediate truth of a situation.

But there is an added benefit to using drones – customer engagement. The ability to share images of the damage with a customer and being able to explain next steps immediately provides reassurance and we are able to bring the customer into the claims conversation in a way we haven’t been able to before. Images provide the immediate truth of a situation.

More than that, this approach can also bring the customer’s knowledge of their business or property into play to help us allocate resources in the most effective way. For example, we had a factory fire earlier this year. By using the images captured by the drone, the client was able to indicate to us the location of their machinery, what parts of the operation were critical and what parts could wait. This allowed us to shape our response in a more informed and targeted way.

Personal experience

All of this makes using drones in claims a bit of a no-brainer for me. The clincher was when I experienced it for myself through a personal claim. My roof was damaged in the storms this year and obviously the extent of the damage had to be understood before the claim could go any further.

A drone was deployed within days of registering the claim. Within an hour of the drone being on site, I was shown imagery of the damage by the drone operator who then explained the next steps to me.

I did not have to wait for scaffolding to be set up or a cherry picker to be deployed. I was also brought into the conversation surrounding my claim at the earliest stage. It was fast, completely unobtrusive and I felt included in the process. Exactly the kind of experience I hoped drones would bring to our customers.

Only scratching the surface

This is only scratching the surface though. Drones capture a huge amount of detailed data and I see no reason why this can’t be deployed more widely such as with the building estimation tools that we all use. Any process that can be automated to create a better customer experience has to be embraced.

And why stop at claims? There are obvious applications in a broad range of services, and we will continue to explore these. Imagine a process where we have the detailed drone data at policy inception stage and detailed drone data at the claim stage? Those data sets can ‘speak’ to each other, giving greater clarity, faster decision making and greater levels of transparency for all parties.

The tools are there – where next?

We can do that. The tools are there. As individual firms and as an industry, we just need to have the foresight and the confidence to use them to their full extent. What started as a “why not?” at Zurich is now a “where next?”.

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Quick, cost effective and repeatable – drone inspections in your workflow

For what started out as a niche plaything for flight enthusiasts, the penetration of drones into the commercial world is accelerating at rapid pace.

Its not just deliveries!

It’s not just the headline-grabbing Amazon delivery proposal – it’s everything from farming, utilities and insurance to the emergency services, engineering and even acting as a temporary mobile phone mast.

But one area where they are starting to make real inroads, and where the cost effectiveness and accessibility they bring is urgent, is in construction and building, in particular, council-owned buildings.

Grenfell Tower

The anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has just passed but the work to make tower blocks across the country safe, and avoid a repeat, is still to be completed. This is despite the fact there is a real urgency to inspect the buildings, understand the risk and map out a remediation plan for each one.

It’s not surprising that we find ourselves in this situation. It is a pretty monumental undertaking and the planning alone takes time never mind the practicalities of erecting the scaffolding at each site and getting all the necessary paperwork in place to do so.

Government commitment

The Government has committed £1.6bn to facilitate this remediation work and while that is to be welcomed, some commentators believe the final cost will be much higher.

And when public funds are at stake, it is incumbent upon those responsible for using the funds, to do so in the most cost-effective way possible. Thankfully, councils seem to be acutely aware of this and many are starting to wake up to the possibilities that drones open up for them.

Iprosurv was instructed on an 15 story high rise where the cladding is falling away from the base structure. This is creating obvious health and safety issues but as the cladding falls away, moisture creeps in threatening to compromise the integrity of the building.

To satisfy insurance requirements, the managers of the building had to undertake a thorough inspection of the property to identify and quantify the risk and put a remediation plan in place. For a multitude of reasons, time was of the essence.

Scaffolding, Scissor Lift, Top Rope, or Drones?

Getting the scaffolding up around the building to conduct a detailed inspection would have taken weeks if not months so they looked to other solutions and found Iprosurv.

We were able to secure the area, send a drone up, get detailed imagery of the damage to the façade and, using thermal imagery, pinpoint where moisture had seeped into the fabric of the building.

From this, the client was able to prioritise the remediation and pull together a plan to take to their insurer to ensure that the building could be made safe and satisfy the insurance requirements. And of equal importance, all this was made possible with zero disruption to residents in the building or the surrounding area.

1% of the cost of some traditional methods

From instruction to delivery of all the data to the client, including a high definition 3D model, took eight days and cost 1% of what it would have cost to erect the scaffolding.

While this is just one instruction on one building in one council on one insurer’s portfolio, if we were to extrapolate those time and fiscal savings across the portfolio of buildings that require inspection, the savings would be monumental.

Insurers and Councils now exploring

It is very encouraging to see more and more insurers and councils explore the possibilities of drone technology but for society at large to see the full benefit, we need to get to a position where drones are an integral, normal part of the process, whatever that may be.

Anyone directly involved in the commercial use of drones will recognise the effort it has taken to get them accepted as an integral part of business processes of all types. But increasingly, and particularly in nationwide safety projects such as the Government’s cladding remediation programme, their use starts to look like an urgent no-brainer.

For more information contact us here!!

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Eye in the sky: Iprosurv drones surveying buildings

Rebecca Jones and her partner realised the commercial potential of drones, but, as she tells Martin Friel, it needed a leap of faith before their high-flying business could take off.

Drones, those little machines we see buzzing above parks and fields across the UK, have something of an unsavoury reputation. Whether it’s as dealers of remote death in the Afghan and Iraqi wars or causing huge disruption at Gatwick airport, people, understandably, are nervous about them and what they might be doing up there.

But love them or loathe them, drones are increasing in popularity across the country with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) estimating there are around 130,000 registered drone operators in the UK, of which, nearly 6,000 are commercial.

The full story can be found here https://www.independent.co.uk

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CAA grants extended line of sight permissions to Iprosurv

Iprosurv has secured Extended Visual Line of Sight permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority for its network of remote pilots.

Standard aviation regulations insist that drones remain within the pilot’s sight at all times during flight which has historically limited flight distances to around 500m but Iprosurv’s new permissions allow its remote pilots to fly drones up to 2km from the launch site, with no direct line of sight required by the remote pilot.

The special permissions issued by the CAA have so far been granted to less than 1% of the nation’s commercial drone operators.Story continues belowAdvertisement

Commenting on the move, Iprosurv co-founder and CEO, Rebecca Jones, said: “We are delighted that the CAA has once again recognised the high level of training, safety and monitoring that takes place across our network of remote pilots and has seen fit to provide us with these new permissions.

“What may seem like a technicality is actually a huge leap forward in the capabilities of drones, particularly in the early assessment of disaster areas, assisting the emergency services and in the survey of inaccessible buildings.”

Adding: “These exemptions will allow us to stream footage and data direct to the client’s desktop even before a site has been physically visited.”

Currently, when faced with a large survey area, pilots often have to stop a flight once the limits of line of site have been reached, drive to the next launch site and start the process again.

Iprosurv says its new level of functionality will allow insurers, property managers and the emergency services to view the entire area and assess and triage the situation in real time.

Jones continued: “Drones have always had the potential to completely change the way we respond to disasters or large-scale surveys but having the ability to remain in the air for longer, going further distances and relaying real time data back to the client is a huge step forward.

“In granting these permissions, the CAA has shown a welcome willingness to help unlock the commercial and societal benefits of drones and we look forward to introducing our new capabilities to all of our clients.”

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Helping Customers Through Storm Francis

Now that Storm Francis has finally subsided our pilots are beginning to see instructions coming through around the UK and we will be inspecting many damaged properties over the next few days. From initial analysis we are seeing everything from fairly standard domestic roof damage claims through to more serious and larger Commercial property claims. Our first set of media will be available for our instructing client this afternoon which will be less than 24 hours from when we were first appointed. We’re always happy to help our insurance clients in getting their own customers back in shape.

If you need our support please call us on 0114 4055 007 or 0114 2541 250.

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https://iprosurv.com/2022/02/17/the-winds-of-change-windblown-forestry-storm-arwen-and-drone-technology/The winds of change, Windblown forestry, storm Arwen and Drone Technology

https://iprosurv.com/2021/11/11/ode-of-remembrance/We Will Remember Them 11/11/2021

https://iprosurv.com/2021/10/18/iprosurv-leading-the-way-to-a-more-professional-sector/Iprosurv: Leading the way to a more professional sector

https://iprosurv.com/2021/10/06/training-and-professionalism-come-to-the-fore-as-iprosurv-hires-former-caa-drone-sector-lead/Training and professionalism come to the fore as Iprosurv hires former CAA drone sector lead

https://iprosurv.com/2021/09/30/the-only-perspective-is-the-customer-perspective/The only perspective is the customer perspective.

https://iprosurv.com/2021/09/23/building-survey-case-study/Quick, cost effective and repeatable – drone inspections in your workflow

https://iprosurv.com/2020/09/11/eye-in-the-sky-how-iprosurv-is-using-drones-to-survey-buildings/Eye in the sky: Iprosurv drones surveying buildings

https://iprosurv.com/2020/09/03/caa-grants-extended-line-of-sight-permissions-to-iprosurv/CAA grants extended line of sight permissions to Iprosurv

https://iprosurv.com/2020/08/26/helping-customers-through-storm-francis/Helping Customers Through Storm Francis