Consider this. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is using drones equipped with advanced laser measuring devices to conduct road surveys. The drone flies adjacent to the road, and in minutes produces a database of a hundred million points of latitude, longitude, and elevation. It’s a task that CDOT traditionally spends about 60 cents per foot to collect with ground-based instruments that make measurements and record the locations of a few thousand assets. The work is dangerous and time consuming, requiring an average of one and a half weeks per mile of roadway. Using the drone technology, CDOT expects to accomplish the goal in about twelve hours per mile, saving tax payers tens of millions of dollars each year. The drone can accomplish the task in about one tenth the amount of time. And, in many cases, it does better work, making fewer errors.
These advances in technology are being led by Juniper Unmanned, a Colorado-based sensing and analytics company whose mission is to enable commercial, and industrial users so they can capture the value of drone-based technologies. Serving as a center of excellence, Juniper Unmanned helps clients like CDOT create safe, effective, and compliant workflows. According to Juniper Unmanned’s CEO Jeff Cozart, “While drones have become commonplace on the worksite, only the most innovative companies have unleashed the real power of the technology.” The lack of expertise, unavailability of advanced solutions, and limited access to more robust and survey grade applications are impeding businesses from leveraging the power of drones. Juniper Unmanned is not only helping in the transportation industry, but also with electric utilities, and the oil and gas industry.
What makes Juniper unique is its focus on enablement. Drone companies have cropped up all over the country to offer services, or to sell hardware to commercial enterprises. Juniper steps beyond that by helping its clients integrate the technology into its workflows to achieve an economic gain.
We are on the verge of a new revolution in industry, and the new advances are promising to dramatically improve our work efficiencies in ways the country has never seen before
Backed by seasoned industry experts in geospatial solutions, safety, sensing technologies, and operational design, the team analyzes customer’s requirements, type of technology required and the associated technical resources, kind of sensor package, apt operators, and a number of other factors for seamless data collection. “Juniper’s flight protocols and standard operating procedures are equivalent to that of a commercial airline.” extols Cozart. He notes, “Our teams of engineers are experts in unlocking the technical capabilities of sensors as well as data processing and deliver the right tailored insights for the end user.”
Juniper Unmanned launched its operations in 2014, bringing together a team of former military unmanned aircraft operators, geospatial experts, and industry leaders. That group partnered with companies like Trimble, to train and enable drone operators on six continents. Over time, the company has amassed a book of knowledge of tactics, techniques, and procedures that it shares with its clients, so they can dramatically accelerate their integration of the appropriate solutions.
“We are on the verge of a new revolution in industry, and the new advances are promising to dramatically improve our work efficiencies in ways the country has never seen before,” says Cozart. “While previous technologies were focused on providing human decision-makers with better information at a faster pace, the new technologies assign more of the decision-making authority to the machine. Automation technologies lead the way with promises of massive improvements in efficiency and asset management. Drones play a critical role in that proposition.”