Planning a mission, flying your drone, and collecting data from an inspection is becoming easier by the day with the amount of cloud-based platforms available in the market. However, one drawback is the number of human-resources needed to analyze, process and deliver this data back to the user. To make this easier, Bihrle Applied Research’s new venture, Ardenna, automates the whole process to provide insightful and actionable data more quickly and accurately than human reviewers.

"We've recognized a real gap, because we know it's possible to collect a great deal of data, but how do you process that efficiently from a cost and time perspective?" Brian Wachter, VP Corporate Development, asked Commercial UAV News. "Our work with the the BNSF Railway allowed us to create a way to capture and define that capability."

Ardenna is focusing on computer vision and machine learning solutions to automate detection, classification and reporting of anomalies found during the inspection. The idea came from the use of Bihrle’s RailVision software during more than 100 mile BVLOS supplemental railway inspection flights for BNSF Railway in the United States, to automatically process terabytes of imagery collected by drones.

“Given the current robust aerospace market, we continue to see a strong demand for our core aeronautical research and development capabilities,” said Jack Ralston, President of Bihrle. “At the same time, we see the increasing use of drones to capture imagery for asset inspections and the growing realization that automation is needed to process this imagery, so the creation of Ardenna allows the new venture to focus specifically on this opportunity.”

By taking leverage of the RailVision software, Ardenna will address critical infrastructure inspections in other industry sectors, starting with the Energy Sector, including power line, pipeline, solar and wind turbine.

Furthermore, Ardenna recently partnered with HUVRdata, a provider of Enterprise Industrial Asset Management Reporting and Analytic solutions to Fortune 500 Energy and Renewables companies, to offer an integrated platform.

"With the Ardenna / HUVRdata combined solution, Enterprise Asset Owners across multiple markets will be able to automate the defect detection process, incorporate Inspector-collected data and integrate to existing asset management solutions in a seamless and cost-effective manner", said Ben Williams HUVRdata Co-Founder. "Further, this platform will provide each asset owner with full control of their data structure and allow sophisticated analytics to reduce their O&M expenses and increase asset life and efficiency."