Credit: T-Mobile Media Release

T-Mobile 5G allowed Valmont to execute a 77-mile BVLOS drone operation that was a first for the industry.

Due to their improved efficiency in reaching remote or inaccessible places as well as their ability to gather and distribute data swiftly, BVLOS aircraft are taking off. Drones with cameras and sensors may collect high-resolution video and pictures utilized for near real-time analysis, monitoring, and crucial decision-making by utilizing the country’s largest and fastest 5G network.

Anyone who needs to “put eyes” on almost any kind of infrastructure, including farmland, solar and wind farms, electricity lines, places for disaster assistance, and more.

The Un-carrier has gained the right to fly! T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) and Valmont Industries Inc. have completed the first long-distance BVLOS drone inspection flight in the industry.

Traditional techniques for infrastructure monitoring frequently include a lot of labor, manned aircraft operations, or ground-based inspections, which come with a lot of safety concerns and cost more money, time, and effort.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently giving more exceptions for BVLOS drone flights, so that’s no longer the case. And Valmont is in the lead as one of the first businesses in the US to acquire said waiver.

Valmont completed a 77-mile non-stop drone journey from Childress to Aspermont, Texas, checking crucial infrastructure like electricity lines, trains, bridges, and more, in under three hours. The drone was a Harris Aerial H6E with a Sony A7RM5 camera linked to T-Mobile 5G. This work was accomplished three times faster and with less fuel use than traditional techniques, saving less than two gallons of fuel.

Highlights of the Mission

The fuel consumption of the Valmont drone inspection teams was under one-fourth of a gallon per hour.

Flight increases the daily average distance of UAS inspections from around 20 miles to over 60 miles.

T-Mobile 5G offered live data transfer during the three-hour trip despite the fact that the route was relatively rural.

The Sony A7RM5 offered high-resolution information for crucial infrastructure assessment thanks to its ability to fly close to electricity wires.

The trip demonstrates that using drones instead of helicopters for infrastructure is a practical, secure, and effective alternative.
The drone from Harris Aerial and the unique payload from Valmont are totally compatible with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Up until now, the range has been an obstacle for drone inspection, according to Jake Lahmann, UAS Manager at Valmont Industries Inc. This type of range can now be covered by a single drone flight, which will completely change how the industry performs infrastructure inspections.

Ulf Ewaldsson, T-Mobile’s President of Technology, continued, “5G was developed to make life simpler. There is no denying that the reach and speed of T-Mobile 5G are enabling whole sectors to transform the way they operate, whether it is by connecting a person on their smartphone or enhancing long-range drone infrastructure inspections.”

Another example of a 5G-enabled technology that may be utilized to immediately address or avoid a disaster is Valmont’s drone inspection service. Valmont can aid in preventing malfunctions and breakdowns before they have a chance to have a significant impact by more accurately anticipatorily monitoring infrastructure locations.

In 2024, Valmont intends to provide drone-in-a-box (DiaB) services across the country while collaborating closely with the FAA on BVLOS drone operation regulations. This makes it possible for anybody in need of aerial inspection services to order a drone, unbox it, and watch it perform its inspection as a Valmont pilot flies it from just about anywhere in the United States.

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