Drone ASSET INSPECTION and surveying

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aerial telepresence for enterprises

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The backbone of most industrial enterprises is their inventory of field assets, many of which are distributed over large geographic areas and/or located in hard-to-reach places.  Field personnel routinely put safety at risk when accessing these remote assets and drive up operational expenses (OPEX) in the process.  These days, companies are looking to cut costs to preserve their bottom lines, but not at the expense of the safety of their field personnel, whether they are employees or contractors.  Using modern communication networks, digital measurement, advanced process automation and sensor-based safety systems, companies are finding new ways to save while improving visibility into their assets.  However, the sheer size and scope of many enterprises leaves operations teams and safety managers struggling to handle the task of inspecting the extensive infrastructure they build.  By deploying new technologies to act as force multipliers, making current field teams more effective, companies can put virtual eyes on assets more regularly, with more precision than ever before.   

Industrial enterprises and service providers can now significantly reduce travel expenses and improve personnel safety through the use of drones for asset inspection.  Many companies have already launched drone programs and are training their field technicians to be drone pilots.  Others are using drone-as-a-service providers to conduct surveys and analyze the collected data.  One problem with this approach is that the subject matter experts and project managers, many of whom sit in offices hundreds of miles away from the assets, have little control over what they eventually see.  Drone service companies are still providing significant value, but this disconnect between pilots in the field and the experts who need to quickly analyze the data diminishes the value proposition of relying solely on service companies for aerial data.  What's missing is the real-time view.  What if non-pilots within the company could just take control of a drone in the field, from their office computers, and zoom in on exactly what they need to see, when they need to see it?  Even further, what if they could allow multiple other stakeholders, no matter where they sit, to view a livestream of this inspection and collaborate with team members in real-time?  Enter Cape Aerial Telepresence™. 

Drones for Industrial Inspection

Drones will soon be as ubiquitous a tool as smart phones and tablets for industrial applications.  To get there, the usability of drones needs to be enhanced via more intuitive control and improved access in a safe and cost-effective way.  Cape has developed a unique drone software solution to put the experts in control without the cost and risk of traveling to remote sites.  

Cape technology transforms your team of drone experts

Cape puts drone control in the hands of subject matter experts, making drone inspection safe and easy-to-use for any operator.  The Cape team will work with your team to train your experts so that the team will be confident about the safe usage of drones.  Cape Aerial Telepresence™ enables your remote experts to participate in field inspections with live streaming from anywhere, further increasing safety by reducing the staff required to be on site.  Finally, the Cape Operator App ensures the safety of your local technician, who effortlessly monitors the drone flights with an intuitive interface that complements the training from Cape’s team of experts.


With Cape, the only experts you will need to conduct asset inspection will be members of your existing team.  Once trained on the Cape technology, you will have all the skills you need to use drones for routine activities as well as incident response.  You will utilize the same staff you use today for on-site activities or visits to now be your on-site drone technicians.  Your project management or operations teams can join any asset inspection through a secure, dedicated portal from any location saving them significant lost time due to travel.  Finally, you will be giving your teams the newest technology in operational efficiency which will enable you to attract top talent.


The following are some of the use cases for drones enabled by Cape technology; many more are emerging daily.

Oil, Gas and Chemical 

Downstream facilities are using drones for chimney and flare inspection, asset tracking, and security.  Midstream operations are conducting regular remote inspections of pipelines and investigating alarms or reports of incidents to ascertain which experts to deploy. Upstream operations are dispersing drones throughout their fields to reduce the number of regular visits to well pads saving valuable travel time.


Mining and Aggregates

Cost and time savings are being realized via the use of drones in the processes for both above-ground mines and aggregate processing facilities.  Post-processing of video and thermal sensor data from automated, defined flight patterns provides information never before available to these operators.  Live streaming and operational expert control of the drones greatly enhances the safety and cost effectiveness of the use of drones.


Drone live streams of tower inspections simultaneously and securely transmitted to multiple experts for any individual owner of a tower-mounted asset or to multiple owners for shared towers greatly increases the cost-effectiveness of the inspection.  Providing the tower technicians already on staff the added ability to safely deploy and supervise drones without the need for a third-party both increases the job satisfaction and the cost effectiveness of the on-site resource.


Inspections of assets such as solar fields, high-voltage transmission assets (towers, power lines, and substations), wastewater facilities, and other distributed assets is now possible by experts operating remotely with high definition video streamed to the experts who simultaneously control the video perspective and zoom level in real-time.  Local technicians ensure the safety of the operation by maintaining visual line-of-sight and having access to master controls to aid in the safe, successful completion of the operation.

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Aerial Telepresence for construction

Capital projects within the energy, process and utilities industries require careful orchestration of many moving pieces, especially during the construction phase. Gathering and applying the right information to make effective decisions can eliminate project delays, cost overruns and improve project safety and sustainability.  

But how does an organization efficiently gather this data?  Traditionally, site inspections involved trips to the construction site to capture photos and video, make notes and update drawings. This method consumes travel budgets, pulls high-value personnel away from the office and often fails to deliver the needed perspective for large industrial facilities.  Companies would also rely on contractors to report status on their work without an efficient way to verify that information.

Was the new perimeter fence really installed this week, as scheduled?  Let’s look at the latest imagery. Not up-to-date? Looks like we’ll have to send someone out there or wait for the next phase until we can confirm.  Meanwhile, the clock ticks and costs continue to rise.

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Recently, companies have been deploying drones to capture aerial imagery for review by project managers who would rather avoid repeated trips to the field.  Blue Research reports that 35% of major construction and engineering firms are already using drones.  While this is a step in the right direction, the information captured in a typical drone mission is still a few days old by the time decision makers receive it.  Why use days-old facility inspection data when you can tour the facility live, during the project status meeting, right from the office?

Cape Aerial Telepresence™ delivers this much-needed efficiency to the construction project workflow, enabling industrial enterprises and service companies to view live video from the site in real time, from the air.  Project managers, executives and subject matter experts can login to Cape and take control of a drone flight or simply view a live video stream while remote pilots fly around the asset. Take the guesswork out of construction projects and make better decisions with Cape’s powerful software platform as the core of your drone data gathering program.

Benefits of Aerial Telepresence for construction industry:

  • Project schedule - avoid deviations
  • Status meetings - view progress in real time
  • Travel budgets - reduce trips and lost productive time
  • Inventory - track materials and prevent theft
  • Safety - prevent potential hazards and verify best practices in use