UK UAS service provider performs job over populated rail corridor

By Luke Geiver | January 19, 2017

U.K.-based Cyberhawk has completed an unmanned aircraft vehicle application that could model how UAVs can be used to inspect, survey and monitor railway infrastructure present in populated corridors. We first spoke with Cyberhawk in April 2016 for a story on UAVs and surveying. Check out the story here, or, read below to learn about their work on a UK rail network.

From the company:

Cyberhawk Innovations, the world leader in aerial inspection and survey using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), has completed its first internal and external structural inspection for the UK rail network. 

The inspection, which took place earlier this year, was completed over the course of two days at Rugby rail station in Warwickshire, England. Working with Network Rail Air Operation, Cyberhawk was appointed to complete the internal inspection, as well as the external inspection of the station, as part of its framework agreement with Network Rail. 

Cyberhawk used a combination of its specially adapted UAVs to capture close visual images of the inside and outside of the station’s roof and supporting structure, thereafter producing a detailed inspection report. 

Traditional internal and external structural inspections require ground camera and scaffolding, which can pose significant working at height risks to personnel. Inspecting the station with Cyberhawk’s UAVs allowed for a quick and safe audit of the stations roof, mitigated the need for personnel to work at height and importantly, permitted railway lines to stay open to the public throughout operations. 

Philip Buchan, commercial director at Cyberhawk, said: “We were awarded a framework agreement with Network Rail in 2014, which was one of the many reasons we were chosen to undertake project, along with our Congested Areas Operating Safety Case (CAOSC) permission to fly UAVs in urban areas and in close proximity to structures, vehicles and people.

“Over the past two years we have grown our portfolio in the rail sector, due to the vast benefits we offer through the use of our UAV technology. We have carried out multiple inspection and survey projects across the UK, and this project is testament to our ability to deliver more complex and challenging infrastructure inspection projects.” 

Headquartered in Livingston, Scotland, and with bases in Houston, Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur, Cyberhawk carried out the very first UAV industrial inspection in 2009 and has completed more than 25 world-firsts to date, with blue-chip customers in more than 20 countries on four continents.