SkyX drone completes 62-mile flight for oil-and-gas market

SkyX Systems Corporation, the Canadian leader in long-range unmanned aerial monitoring and data collection, announced on Dec. 4 that it has successfully completed an unmanned data collection flight of 100 kilometers (62 miles) — one of the longest journeys in its class.

The SkyX System consists of an aircraft that takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane.
The SkyX System consists of an aircraft that takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane. SkyX Photo
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Taking place in Mexico, the firm successfully flew its SkyOne Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) on an autonomous data mission over more than 100 kilometers of gas pipeline in Mexico. The robotic flight was programmed and monitored remotely from the company’s Greater Toronto Area SkyCenter mission control, with a support crew of engineers on the ground in Mexico.

Using high-resolution imagery, the longest of multiple flights identified more than 200 potentially significant anomalies along the remote pipeline, ranging from unauthorized buildings and cultivation, through to a fissure possibly caused by seismic activity.

“This mission was groundbreaking,” said SkyX founder and chief executive officer Didi Horn. “We have proven our solution in a rugged environment which presented network communications challenges. Our Mexican partner was stunned not only by our results, but by the speed and accuracy with which we delivered them.”

The flights mark a milestone for several reasons:

  • A 100-kilometer flight gathered data in a little more than an hour that would have taken a person well over a week;
  • that mission identified more than 200 geo-referenced anomalies the customer was unaware existed, pinpointing precise coordinates for rapid investigation and remediation; and
  • the mission positions SkyX as the leading solution for cost-effective monitoring of oil-and-gas pipelines and other long-range infrastructure.
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“More than $38 billion is spent annually monitoring oil-and-gas pipelines using less efficient means, which often identify problems only long after they’ve occurred. SkyX brings an unprecedented value proposition to this global issue,” said Horn.

The SkyX System consists of an aircraft that takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane; the SkyCenter control room (which allows for real-time and secure mission monitoring from remote locations); and the company’s proprietary SkyBoxes, which allow SkyOne to recharge and continue long-range missions without having to “Return to Home” (a factor that limits nearly every other drone).

SkyX is currently finalizing a second round of financing, providing a cutting-edge opportunity for investors. Already, the company has gathered 25 percent of its targeted funding.

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