One of the most helpful uses of drones is their ability to collect data for a business to later analyze and gain insight from. Businesses are using drones to film events, provide entertainment, inspect buildings and locations, and even in emergency situations.
We talked with David Zimmerman, CEO and founder of LC Technology (a data recovery provider), about how drone data is being used, and what to do if something happens to that data.
Interdrone News: What is the importance of drone data?
Zimmerman: Drones are increasingly being used for multiple uses such as personal, commercial and military use. The information that is being collected by them is now growing in importance just due to the ability to capture images and video from almost any vantage point, including underwater. As with any type of digital device, the data is the most important [part].
How can drone data help a commercial business?
Drones are already being implemented in commercial businesses to deliver packages, film sporting events, participate in concerts or shows (for example, Lady Gaga’s 2017 Super Bowl performance), survey buildings and locations, and more. When appraising or building any type of structure, using a drone provides an invaluable aspect that is typically inaccessible because of trees or other objects that may interfere with the flight plan or vantage point. The access that drones can provide is key to doing a complete and thorough job. The police and military are also using drones to scout out criminal and enemy locations without the fear of endangering lives—some drones are even armed with weapons. I can’t think of a single business that wouldn’t benefit somehow from the use of a drone, whether that be assisting with current business opportunities or providing avenues for new business opportunities.
What are some best practices for collecting drone data?
Streaming and transmitting data wirelessly is OK until distance and/or interference becomes a factor, but primarily the data stored by the drone itself on the memory card is what is of value. Always have multiple memory cards with you and if you have a problem with one card in the drone, set it aside and use another.
It all depends on how the data was lost. If the memory card becomes corrupt or physically damaged due to a crash or loss of power, then the problem is typically something that requires a certain level of experience to recover from. Physical damage needs a certain level of skill to properly attempt recovery. Due to the size of the files and amount of data being written while recording, sudden loss of power will result in a loss of data and improperly closed files, which are files that have not been completely written to the memory card yet. Recovering these files usually requires the use of specialized utilities that support these new Video formats that are being used. The same goes for memory cars that are ejected from the drone before the data has finished being written to the card. Problems like this are typically solved by software utilities, but physical damage should always be handled by a professional.