People, process, training and attention to detail deliver industry-leading drone inspection results

In the rapidly evolving world of drone inspection technology, the focus often shifts to the latest advancements in hardware and software. While these elements are crucial, there’s another component that plays an equally pivotal role in the effectiveness of drone inspection operations: the drone pilot. Their expertise, skill set, training and procedures determine the quality of data captured, which in turn impacts the quality of the data gathered to support various projects, from facilities inspections to asset management.

Optelos, a recognized leader in the drone data management industry, understands the interplay between technology and human expertise. While the Optelos software platform is a technological leader, we place major emphasis on the human element—the drone pilot – when it comes to creating industry-leading 3D digital twin reality models. Our team of pilots, known for their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to accuracy, ensure that the data captured is of the highest quality, laying a strong foundation even before the software capabilities come into play. It is because of their training, attention to detail and documented SOPs that Optelos can offer our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, which assures customers that we stand behind our quality and will deliver the agreed results within the stated timeframe and budget, or we’ll refund your money.

The Most Skilled Drone Pilots in the Industry

The Role of Drone Pilots

Drones have the potential to revolutionize industries by completing visual inspections more quickly, safely and accurately, and capturing data used to create precise 3D digital twin reality models that reflect the exact details of the real-world object. While the quality of a drone platform and its sensor are critical factors, the accuracy of a drone inspection is largely determined by the skill of the pilot controlling it. A drone pilot serves as the crucial link between advanced technology and the real-world data it captures. Their expertise ensures that the drone navigates its environment efficiently, capturing data that is both comprehensive and accurate.

“A pilot not only needs to be experienced and capable, but also must have the proper growth mindset. This is what we have found consistently leads to the highest quality results.”

Adam Watts, VP Operations, Optelos

drone inspection services
Optelos drone pilots carefully adhere to formal SOPs for drone piloting and data capture, ensuring safe and efficient flight operations and best-in-class data capture results.  

Precision and attention to detail are paramount in this role. A skilled pilot is able to assess and mitigate the specific impacts on data collection of the environment they are navigating, whether it’s the intricacies of an urban landscape or the challenges of rugged, rural areas. Their ability to adapt to changing conditions and make on-the-spot decisions significantly impacts the quality of data collected, which in turn is reflected in the quality of the reality model that can be created from this data.

Challenges Faced by Drone Pilots

Given the dynamic environmental conditions in which drones operate, from changing weather patterns to unexpected physical obstacles, ensuring that the data captured is both complete and detailed requires skill and experience. A slight deviation or oversight can lead to data gaps, which can negatively impact the ability of the data to deliver the desired objective, be it asset inspection imagery, orthomosaic mapping, or 3D digital twin reality model construction. 3D digital twin models are particularly sensitive to data quality and can be negatively impacted by both missing data and capturing too much overlapping data.

Optelos’ Elite Drone Pilot Team

While the reliability and capabilities of drone technology are improving every year, the human element remains a large variable in determining the quality and accuracy of data capture. Optelos recognizes this intrinsic value and has invested significantly in building a team that stands out in the industry as a cut above. It’s not just about flying a drone; it’s about understanding the nuances of the environment, adapting to challenges, and ensuring that every piece of data captured meets the highest standards and will deliver against the intended goals for the project.

Optelos drone inspection services
Strict adherence to training, process and SOPs enables Optelos drone pilots to capture drone data which is used to reliably create the best 3D digital twin models in the industry. 

Selection and Hiring

At the heart of Optelos’ operational success is its meticulous selection and hiring process. The company places a premium on attitude over experience. Per Adam Watts, head of Operations for Optelos, “We evaluate on attitude primarily. We’ve talked to many people who have flown thousands of towers, given them a trial run, and found their output to be subpar. A pilot not only needs to be experienced and capable, but also must have the proper growth mindset. This is what we have found consistently leads to the highest quality results.” This sentiment underscores the company’s belief in the importance of adaptability and a willingness to learn. Optelos values individuals who have a high degree of personal responsibility, self-awareness of their own limitations, and hold a long-term goal of continuous professional development. The emphasis is on delivering superior customer service by reliably generating impeccable inspection results on time and on spec, which yields strong, lasting customer relationships based on trust. The ideal candidate possesses the right attitude, long-term vision, enthusiasm, personal responsibility and moldability.

Optelos Qualified Aerial Data Capture patch
All Optelos drone pilots must undergo rigorous training and supervised flights to become Aerial Data Capture Certified. The training program and SOPs are what allow Optelos to offer the 100% satisfaction guarantee.  

Optelos Qualified Aerial Data Capture Training Program

Optelos prides itself on its comprehensive training program, which is designed to deliver consistent data capture results across all projects. It’s this training program and underlying SOPs that allows Optelos to confidently provide a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on all our turnkey drone inspection services. Adam outlined the company’s “militarized, centralized process concerning training and development”, as the program was developed by Optelos’ Operations leadership, which consists of former RAF fighter jet and helicopter pilots. In addition to requiring all pilots are FAA Part 107 certified, Optelos drone pilots must also complete the Optelos training and certification program to ensure they are qualified on Optelos’ data capture techniques before they are allowed to fly for customer projects. This structured approach ensures consistency across the board. “No matter where you are in the country, everything is flown exactly the same,” he noted. The training encompasses detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), online learning modules, and mandatory in-person training and evaluation sessions. Furthermore, the company boasts a team of highly experienced instructors from various sectors, including the military, civilian aviation, and industry veterans from leading telecom and utilities companies.

Data Quality Assurance (QA)

Optelos understands the importance of timely data feedback. Watts emphasizes the detrimental effects of long turnaround times in data review, stating, “Latency is bad, so we recognize that we have to return feedback very quickly to our drone pilots.” To this end, Optelos has a dedicated team responsible for scrutinizing data, providing feedback on any missing data before the pilots have left the inspection area, and managing individual relationships with pilots. This approach ensures that any data issues are addressed promptly, setting pilots up for success in their subsequent assignments. The rigorous audit and mentorship process ensures that pilots are fully prepared before they take on assignments independently.

“One thing we don’t shy away from is innovation and challenging norms. We respond by innovating new data capture techniques paired with new drone hardware platforms and sensors to deliver superior results,”

Adam Watts, VP Operations, Optelos

Evolving Capabilities

Optelos continually pushes boundaries, embracing new data capture innovations and rethinking paradigms. “One thing we don’t shy away from is innovation and challenging norms. We respond by innovating new data capture techniques paired with new drone hardware platforms and sensors to deliver superior results,” says Watts. Optelos is continuously testing new drone hardware and control software to validate we’re obtaining the best results possible. This forward-thinking approach is evident in the company’s endeavors to bridge the gap for clients keen on leveraging the capabilities of drone technology but unsure of how to proceed. 

Optelos CEO David Tran has championed the need to assist such clients, leading to Optelos’ efforts in integrating and expanding drone inspection programs in several global enterprises. The company’s initiatives have not only introduced new drone capabilities to multinational organizations, but have also set industry standards for fidelity, accuracy, and success in data capture. Optelos’ commitment to innovation ensures that cutting-edge techniques and technology can be deployed predictably at scale, further solidifying its position as a leader in the drone data capture and management industry.

Optelos 100% Satisfaction Guarantee – We will design a turnkey service offering that we guarantee will deliver the results you need within the agreed timeframe and budget. If the results do not meet your needs, and if we can’t make it right, we’ll provide a 100% refund.

 Customer Feedback Loop

One of the standout features of Optelos’ operations is the continuous feedback mechanism between the Optelos operations team and the end customer. This collaboration ensures that the data captured is continuously validated to meet the needs of the end users, while the pilots are kept abreast of the latest feedback. As the Adam Watts mentioned, the company places a strong emphasis on turning feedback around quickly. This feedback loop not only aids in the immediate correction of any data capture issues but also contributes to the long-term development and refinement of the training program to better meet the needs of industries as they adopt drone inspection technology.

Setting and Delivering the Standard

With its combination of an elite drone pilot team and a state-of-the-art software platform, Optelos is setting the standard for drone data capture and management, and delivering it. The company’s emphasis on attitude, personal development, training and continuous improvement ensures that all customers receive quality outputs and insights from every mission, and can rely on those results for making critical financial and operational decisions.

If you are interested in learning more about how Optelos’ turnkey drone inspection services can help your company improve asset management and inspection results, please fill out the contact form by clicking on the “Drone Inspection Services” button below, and we can start a conversation.