Alejandro Sastre (FerroNATS) and Andrés Santos Becerro (Ferrovial Digital Hub) contributed their expertise at The Drone Show
Alejandro Sastre (FerroNATS) and Andrés Santos Becerro, Emerging Technologies Specialist at Ferrovial, contributed their expertise at The Drone Show, International Drones Expo and Congress, at Barcelona’s Exhibition Centre. Andrés Santos Becerro, Emerging Technologies Specialist with Ferrovial’s Digital Hub, was one of the key speakers at this international fair, explaining how Ferrovial uses drones in infrastructure and construction work. His presentation, under the title "Advantages and limitations in the use of RPAS in construction and maintenance of linear infrastructures. Innovation projects in Ferrovial”, showed the work being done by Ferrovial using drones, in road surveillance (2 pilot projects) and in construction works as topography tools. For other areas (oil&gas, water treatment plants, etc.) he mentioned what the general needs were, with the aim of subsequently establishing contact with specific providers in these areas. Ferrovial has been working with RPAS for some years now, mainly in the field of construction as topography tools. This work is also very useful for surveillance and works control. The use of drones on roads has only recently been introduced, both to provide support in conservation and maintenance tasks, and in surveillance to facilitate inspection work. For his part, Alejandro Sastre García took part in the round table on "Safety in the use of RPAS in facilities and infrastructure", which discussed the level of reliability of drones used in the industrial sector. On behalf of FerroNATS, the leading commercial air traffic control operator managing 9 control towers in Spain, Alejandro talked of the importance of planning protocols for action in the event of drone sightings. “We all know that drones are banned from flying in airspace, but it is necessary to be prepared in case this situation arises. For example, if an air traffic controller sights a drone, he/she must immediately contact the airport manager, who must in turn contact state security forces, so that they can act quickly.” He also explained other coordinating procedures existing for specific cases, such as, for example, when special permission is requested to film using a drone, or other reasons: here, the coordination protocol involving airline companies, state security forces and all air traffic control staff is brought into play to guarantee safety. In connection with RPAS, a new joint venture between Amey, Ferrovial’s British subsidiary, and VTOL Technologies, experts and world leaders in drone technology, will use long-range precision drones to transform the world of asset management surveys, making it safer, quicker and easier to inspect essential vital infrastructures such as bridges and railway lines. Flying Wing is an autonomous unmanned drone, patented by AmeyVTOL, which is at the world forefront of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) offering beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) technologies, a long range, and a series of advantages which existing drones do not have. Flying Wing will carry a ground penetrating radar, high definition video, and still, infrared, thermal and light detection and ranging sensors, amongst others. It can take off and land anywhere, can cover distances of up to 150 km at speeds of up to 60 km/h, and change direction to map exactly the same route time and again, regardless of weather conditions. It also has the added advantage of capturing data in real time and streaming it live to a data processing engine.