cablex AG | Tannackerstrasse 7 | 3073 Gümligen |

15/10/2021  /  Martina Strazzer

Second drone pilot case from cablex.

In July 2021, we reported on our pilot project Transportation of materials with the help of drones. We have now carried out the second trial, whereby the cargo drone transported 1,100 kilos of radio material onto a building. This flight was also successful and brought us plenty of new insights.

The location for this drone flight was a grain silo in Olten in Solothurn Canton. This drone mission required somewhat more extensive preparatory work than the first pilot test. Once the permits had been obtained from FOCA, we of course wrote to all the businesses in the area around the test site to inform them of our plans. Following this, the test site was cordoned off and secured in line with regulations and measures were taken to ensure that only those involved in the project were present on site.

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Multicopter drones can transport loads of 80-150 kilos safely and with pinpoint accuracy. In the second pilot test, 1,100 kilos of radio material was flown directly to the antenna system on a 50-metre-high building.

The use case.

The drone flew 1,100 kilos of radio material onto a 50-metre-high grain silo for an upgrade of a Swisscom antenna system. The grain silo in Olten is a “site-share location”, which means there are antenna systems belonging to various telecoms providers there.

The transport.

Sixteen flights were required to transport the 1,100 kilos of heavy material onto the silo directly next to the antenna mast. Transport time for all these flights alone amounted to 160 minutes, to which must be added the time taken for setup on the ground to ensure the drone was safe and carrying the permitted weight.

The objective.

Currently, helicopters are often used for transportation of antenna equipment in rough terrain and mountainous areas. These tasks could also be assumed by cargo drones in the future. The objective of this drone flight was to improve the processes, times and coordination, to enable us to get close to the current standard operation with helicopters.

Further pilot tests.

The pilot phase is to be continued over the next few months. Among other things, plans are in place to transport material directly to the technician on the antenna. We are working wholeheartedly and with dedication to evaluate all the findings and monitor further developments in the market. Our goal is to apply new technologies in areas where they can make everyday tasks easier and are economical.

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