Case Studies

Price wars: counting the cost of drones, planes and satellites

One of the main advantages of drone-based imaging touted by both manufacturers and service providers is its low cost compared to competing technologies like airplanes and satellites. But a simple Internet search will reveal that concrete figures to back up these claims are hard to come by. This is due partly to the fact that […]

Heard on the grapevine: drones to transform viticulture

When Pierre-Olivier Dion-Labrie took over as chief winemaker at the historic Château de Châtagneréaz vineyard in 2013, he found there were no records of the soil types beneath the 20 hectares of grapevines looking out over Lac Léman. Soil type can have a considerable effect on the growth of the vines and the subsequent quality of the […]

Eagle-eyed highland habitat management

The boggy uplands of Northern Ireland can prove difficult terrain to cover on foot, but for ecological consultant Cormac Loughran it’s all part of the job. He helps landowners and farmers carry out habitat management programs designed to mitigate the effects of building new infrastructure from roads to drainage and even wind turbines in sensitive […]

Eyes above the ice: using drones to monitor Arctic oil operations

Navigating the gravel roads of Alaska’s oilfields in winter can be a treacherous business. Floods, ice floes and break-ups cause the topography to continually shift and bad weather often means visibility is low. Energy firm BP has more than 200 miles of these roads criss-crossing its oilfields in Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of […]

Drones for journalism: the next frontier in storytelling

When the worst drought since records began hit the plains of Nebraska, emerging drone technology provided students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a unique tool to tell the story. The university’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications had established the Drone Journalism Lab (DJL) in November 2011 to encourage students to explore the potential […]

Humanitarian Drones: Assessing the damage to the ‘Roof of the World’

On April 25 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal and nearby parts of India, China, and Bangladesh, killing more than 8,000 people and displacing nearly half a million more. Humanitarian organisations were quick to respond, but the country’s inhospitable terrain coupled with its fragile power, transport and energy infrastructure have posed huge challenges to relief […]

Uncovering the coal industry’s hidden legacy

The coal industry has left an indelible mark on the culture of the United Kingdom. Entire communities are still defined by their connection to the pits and deep rifts in the political landscape persist to this day over the handling of their closure in the second half of the last century. Mining has also left […]

Taking flight: the rise of the Swiss drone industry

For more than 400 years Swiss watchmakers have developed and maintained a reputation for precision, excellence and innovation. Despite the upheavals of the 1970s when quartz watches surpassed their mechanical counterparts as the timepiece of choice, the level of craftsmanship developed by the Swiss ensured their products survived and flourished at the high-end of the […]

Case Study: Organic farming meets hi-tech monitoring

In 1989 Jean Hediger’s 25 hectare family farm near Fort Collins became one of Colorado’s first certified organic growers. A quarter of a century later and three generations of her family farm 1,400 hectares in the high plains of eastern Colorado as well as working with over a dozen growers cultivating more than 4,000 hectares […]

Case Study: Lighting up the sky

One sure fire way to produce a theatrical spectacle that blows your audience away is to create an experience that towers over the crowd. When directing a show on a 240 metre-wide outdoor stage with a set just a few meters high, this presents a unique challenge, one that Nicolas de Villiers has wrestled with […]