Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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14 April/May 2018 unmanned systems inside USER SHOWCASE Photos courtesy of Microdrones. About the White Birch Paper Mill Originally built in 1927, the mill produces newsprint and commercial paper grades and has an annual capacity of more than 250,000 metric tons. White Birch, which was known as the Stadacona Mill until it was purchased in 2004, runs a paperboard machine that produces 45,000 metric tons per year of 100% recycled chip board and specialty paperboard products. E very three months, a team from Microdrones f lies the mdMapper1000DG over the wood chip piles stored outside the White Birch Paper mill in Quebec City, providing the mill with valuable information about their inventory. The mill transforms these wood chips into cardboard paper, making it vital for company leaders to know exactly how much volume they have in each pile, Microdrones Canadian Sales Manager Sebastien Long said. Before they started working with Microdrones about three years ago, this was a dangerous, time-consuming task that was performed using traditional surveying methods. Now, a process that once took a few days to complete only takes a few hours, and there's no longer a need for workers to walk around the heavy machinery in the area or to climb on top of the wood chip piles—which is a lot like trying to walk on mounds of sand—to collect the necessary data. "This is safer, faster and we get a better data set," Long said. "The numbers we get are more accurate than what they used to get from surveying. In the past, they'd take images of the piles and convert that into 3-D. With the drone, they can get better coverage of the surface than someone walking the pile and taking a rating here and there, every 6 or 12 feet. The drone covers 100 percent of the pile and we're able to give them accurate data of the volume and their inventory." Why Microdrones The mill is located in the middle of a city and near an international airport, so when the team decided to in- vest in a drone for inventory management, they knew the system they chose had to be safe and reliable—they couldn't risk it getting away from the pilot, or failing during the middle of a f light. "They wanted to make sure they were f lying with a company that was serious on every level," Long said. "When a large company like White Birch is f lying some- thing in the air, they have to make sure it's reliable at all costs. That's one of the strengths of Microdrones. We have a highly reliable platform." The mdMapper1000DG fl ies over a wood chip pile at White Birch Paper mill in Quebec City. SAFE, RELIABLE FLIGHTS PRODUCING ACCURATE RESULTS Microdrones has been fl ying the mdMapper1000DG advanced aerial mapping solution at the White Birch Paper mill in Quebec City for three years, providing a safer, more cost-effective way for the company to measure wood chip piles. by Renee Knight FIELD TESTED, FIELD PROVEN.

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