Issue 54 Uncrewed Sytems Technology Feb/Mar 2024 uWare uOne UUV l Radio and telemetry l Rheinmetall Canada medevacs l UUVs insight DelltaHawk engine l IMU focus l Skygauge in operation l CES 2024 report l Blueflite l Hypersonic flight

96 In operation | Skygauge UAV ultrasonic inspections to other interested parties, leading to considerable further funding. “Since 2020, we operated in a more professional manner, growing the team to 15-25 people, and redesigning the prototype into a sellable, shippable product, with deliveries beginning in 2023 to customers around the world who had been waiting for it,” Korol recounts. “We built and sold an initial production run of 10 units in the first half of last year. We’ve since delivered 25 further units and signed contracts for some more. Some of those users are here in Canada, some are in India and close by in the Middle East, and multiple companies we sell to are in The Netherlands, where there are very positive attitudes towards drones and robotics for industry. “We are also starting to sell in South America, where we’re seeing considerable and fast-growing interest in commercial uncrewed systems, and we’re about to close a contract back in the UK too.” Pre-flight preparations Most operations are carried out by the customer’s facility staff, such as maintenance technicians and inspectors, with Skygauge only operating for clients in the event of a demonstration or a particularly challenging use case. Skygauge does, however, develop a ConOps, and hence a set of instructions for how customers should use and operate the UAV. To do this, it first takes delivery of a client’s past inspection reports to determine an inspection pattern for the pertinent infrastructure. “So, if they have a 40 m flare stack that they need inspected, we can discern from those reports and their own comments to us if they want, as an example, a set of inspections across the north, east, south and west scan lines, which are vertical lines of points along which these types of ultrasonic inspections normally get performed,” Korol says. “Picture a grid being laid or wrapped around the surface of this cylindrical structure, and then needing to take a measurement at every grid intersection; that’s the basic idea. Maybe an inspection at every metre, with four points around the tower – that would mean 160 measurements for that 40 m tower.” Once a flight plan has been created to achieve these measurements, the UAV is brought out of storage, unpacked and set down near the structure – ideally in a location free from collision hazards February/March 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Once a flight plan is made for the inspection, the UAV is brought out of storage, unpacked and set down near the structure