There are many different applications for drones in our current day and age, and more are being discovered with each passing moment. From military to entertainment and industry to commercial, every sector stands to benefit from small flying devices with powerful technology attached to them. Today we are looking at a relatively niche use for these devices, namely bird flight diverters.
Although these devices are fascinating in and of themselves, it is important to understand the problem that they fix to see the whole scope of their benefits.
Birds and their migratory patterns can be a real problem, especially in remote locations. When we, as humans, add obstacles to their flight path, such as power lines and hardwire telecommunications equipment, they can run into it and short the electrical charge or damage the hardware.
Luckily, it is relatively easy to stop this problem. We simply need to install reflective material that is highly visible to our fowl friends, and they will fly around the wires and cabling. This is the perfect solution, except for one crucial fact; we learned about it after installing thousands and thousands of kilometres of power lines.
Therefore, there exist many areas both remote and otherwise that have naked cabling, which is the cause of much disruption and remedial work. Still, humans are nothing if not resourceful, meaning we already found a novel solution once.
Indeed, we just hopped in helicopters and sent trained personnel to install bird flight diverters across the nation. Unfortunately, helicopters are dangerous equipment at the best of times, and many workers were injured during installation. When you add this risk to the high costs of fuel and wages for technical professionals like helicopter pilots, not to mention the cost of the vehicle itself, this solution was less than ideal.
But, this is a problem no longer with the help of drones. Now, it is quick and easy to navigate an untouched length of cabling and install these devices with little hassle. Specially-outfitted drones can fly up to power lines and install multiple units without breaking a sweat. Then, they can be recharged without expensive fuel costs and repeat the task.
During this entire procedure, the operator of the drone is safely located on the ground at a convenient location for signal strength and visibility. Although this might seem straightforward, it is important to remember that prior to drone technology, a helicopter pilot and linesperson were necessary to perform the same task, and they had to be in the air right next to the powerline.
So, as you can see, there is a lot of potential for this novel piece of technology. We are a far cry from the model helicopters, trucks and trains of the past. Interestingly, it is likely that we will one day look back at this time and consider our efforts rudimentary as well. Still, for now, the cutting edge is looking very promising and exceptionally bright.