Falcon Eye Drone

Dubai-based Falcon Eye Drones is keeping power flowing and grapes growing thanks to the data its drones collect.

The company makes fixed-wing drones in two sizes, to suit different applications. The smaller of the two has a wingspan of 1.8m and a maximum take-off payload of 2kg. Its larger counterpart manages a take-off weight of 15kg thanks to its 3.3m wingspan.

“We provide drones with the payload built in,” explained Rabih Rashid, president of the company. “The reason being is that to earn beyond-line-of-sight certification the drone has to be below 2kg.”

The certification Rashid refers to is earned in France, and is a key part of how the company is testifying to the capabilities of its product. Their kit has been used across the French countryside to survey vineyards. Other roles the equipment can undertake include surveying infrastructure, roads, or mines.

“A drone can replace a land surveyor, do it more efficiently, a lot cheaper, a lot faster and sometimes a lot more accurate as well,” he said.

One of the more unusual roles the drones have taken on is the inspection of power lines in Africa. There, a lush climate and fast growing trees combine to threaten energy supplies by downing cables.

“To avoid this damage you would traditionally fly a helicopter, which is expensive,” says Rashid. “A drone sends data back to the power company and it sends teams to specific spots to cut trees. Flying the drones is the easy part, it’s all about what you do with the data.”