Commercial BVLOS drones


(Beyond Visual Line of Sight).



Flying commercial long range drones BVLOS

Being all the rage, drones have already had a big impact on our lives, industry in particular has benefited much from its introduction. But the real impact is still to come. The automation that comes with the current wave of digitisation is a natural bedfellow of automated long range BVLOS drone flights.



Currently most drones are flown within VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) of the pilot because of regulatory constraints in many countries like the FAA in the USA. This not only a constraint in terms of the area of deployment, but also means that there is an enforced 1:1 relationship between man and machine. You can therefor only fly one drone per person at a time. Typically VLOS range is 500m from the drone operator and in some cases this can be extended to 1,5km with EVLOS (Extended Line of Sight).


Real value

The real value comes from for business comes from being able to operate a number of drones automatically over larger areas of deployment. These solutions are then also naturally more scalable because one operator can supervise a larger number of drones.

The longer flight times that come with long range BVLOS missions (up to 30kms range) are also more efficient because less time is spent and traveling to landing sites and with multiple landings and takeoffs during a single commercial mission.

Commercial BVLOS flight missions have proven especially valuable in applications where assets and resources are distributed over large areas, from natural resources like forests, living assets like livestock or game, or distributed assets like pipelines and transmission lines. BVLOS applications can also include SAR, Disaster Management, Drone Delivery and Oil and Gas, to mention a few.



Data Collection

Traditional data collection methods included manual, vehicle-based of helicopter based forms of inspection. These were all subject the a variety of challenges from manual errors to low resolution data collection. The benefit of programmable drone flights means that not only can the data collecting sensors be brought closer to the target for higher resolution data capturing, this can these precise flight plans can be repeated exactly every time for precise, and preformatted data collection. All of this means that the process of providing a quality, actionable data/information/intelligence to the recipient is speeded up to near real-time.




Case studies have shown that operating drones BVLOS are about 4 to 28 times more economical that helicopters per kilometre inspection flown.


Target area

The value of every extra kilometre of flight time is graphically illustrated below. When a drone is used to respond to a security incident which could be in any direction from the point of take-off, simply doubling flight time adds exponentially more strike area range each time. The following calculations apply:

Radius (range)                                          Potential area of coverage 

  • VLOS (500m)    :                                                    79km2
  • EVLOS (1,5km):                                                     07km2
  • BVLOS (30km)    :                                           2,827.43km2


Strike area for different flight ranges



It is not only criteria like costs and quality that drive drone based mission BVLOS, but also safety. Most of these sites are in difficult to navigate environments and inspection in these terrains can be arduous and dangerous.

To be able to fly such long range BVLOS commercial missions the aircraft needs to include certain minimum features which would include the ability to: track the drone, sense and avoid obstacles, real-time data feed to a screen display at the control station.



Airborne Drones is as an internationally established manufacturer of leading edge long range drones for commercial use.

The Airborne Drones Vanguard is the ideal solution for persistent aerial presence with BVLOS long flight times.

Discover how you can future-proof your business with the use of thermal imaging drones. Contact Airborne Drones for your security solution today.