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A look at the role uncrewed vehicles can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions with examples for forestry, ocean monitoring and disaster relief
By Cloud Ground Control
Amid all the global challenges, climate change is one of the most pressing. Rising figures associated with sea levels, carbon emissions, deforestation and global temperatures presage a “Code Red” situation demanding immediate action. As a result, industries are looking at using emerging technologies as a key approach to manage and curb environmental effects occurring from land to sea.
Uncrewed vehicles are one such technology with immense potential to drive change. This article will explore their roles and applications in different industries, the opportunities and challenges associated with their deployment, and how their constant evolution continues to expedite human efforts in fighting climate change.
The beinfits of uncrewed vehicles
Uncrewed vehicles and autonomous vehicles operate without direct human intervention. They rely on sensors, artificial intelligence, and control systems for navigation and task completion. Autonomy is achieved by combining technologies such as computer vision, machine learning, and advanced control systems which ultimately enable the vehicle to perceive its environment and make decisions based on data with minimal human input.
The autonomy and unique build of uncrewed vehicles allow them to reach places humans cannot reach, collect and analyze information better than the naked eye, all with an incomparable degree of precision and detail.
Monitoring and Conservation
Uncrewed vehicles are increasingly being used for environmental monitoring and
conservation efforts. These vehicles are equipped with various sensors to collect data on a number of natural parameters including atmospheric conditions and composition, water quality, biodiversity monitoring, vegetation analysis, geographical mapping, noise and vibration monitoring among others. Thanks to advancements in technologies, AI models can now analyse the data directly in the cloud accessible and utilised from anywhere in the world with a cellular connection. This allows complex insights and informed decision-making to be made by humans.
Uncrewed vehicles also have the potential to protect ecosystems by reducing the pollution generated by conventional transportation activities. For example, uncrewed vehicles can replace crewed ships in hazardous environments, oil spill inspections and natural disaster monitoring, reducing emissions and the risk of accidental pollution that large, crewed ships are prone to emit. Similarly, using aerial drones in place of crewed surface vehicles can reduce carbon emissions and provide greater movement.
Moving from sea to land, drones demonstrate their capacity in combating deforestation. Costa Rica is currently trialing a project using drones for aerial seeding to efficiently and precisely distribute seeds over large deforested areas, aiding in the restoration of ecosystems and promoting reforestation efforts. The drones are able to perform at much faster speeds than traditional methods and in areas that are too dangerous for humans to venture into, such as hillsides and abandoned mines.
Transportation and emissions
Transportation is the second-largest carbon-polluting sector worldwide, accounting for 20 percent of global CO₂ emissions, according to Statista. The International Energy Agency also reports transport emissions have grown at an annual average rate of nearly 1.7% since 1990, faster than any other end-use sector. To achieve the target of zero net emissions by 2050, innovative ways to reduce emissions are imperative.
The biggest advantage of uncrewed vehicles are electric propulsion systems, which can largely reduce tailpipe emissions. Fueled partly by the pandemic, the uncrewed vehicle industry has made rapid advances in the past few years. Improvements in battery storage and reductions in costs have resulted in drones that can fly much longer distances, while advances in automation and AI have made it possible to develop drones that can communicate and deliver payloads effectively. Many nations are currently working on regulations governing drone usage and it is only a matter of time before drone technology can help offset a proportion of delivery traffic and the associated carbon footprint. It will also create new opportunities for organizations to boost productivity, innovation and efficiency while protecting the planet.
Smart transportation systems integrate uncrewed vehicles with existing infrastructure, optimizing routes, reducing travel times, and minimizing energy consumption. They also facilitate renewable energy source integration into the charging infrastructure for electric uncrewed vehicles.
Challenges and Limitations
The major limitations of uncrewed vehicles lie in communication, control and security, especially in remote areas. Although enterprises are increasingly looking to software solutions to remotely control uncrewed vehicles, being able to maintain stable communication links and prevent unauthorized access and interference very much still remains a speed bump. Currently, Cloud Ground Control, powered by Advanced Navigation, is among the very few solutions out there that can offer the reliable and flexible communication multi-vehicle operation critically demands. As a cloud-based drone fleet management platform, Cloud Ground Control enables multi-user and multi-vehicle connections over 4G/5G networks, as opposed to radio signals, which is ideal for communicating even in the outback regions. With end-to-end encryption and built-in compliance, it also adds extra layers of security to the communication process.
The platform simplifies fleet management by turning a myriad of vehicles and drones into a connected autonomous fleet, making it easier for users to manage and control them simultaneously with access to real-time vehicle data. By doing so, users can facilitate the connectivity between the end user through to the browser and the vehicles themselves, providing full situational awareness.
Uncrewed vehicles have experienced significant technological advances in recent years. Paired with AI and new cloud technology capabilities enabling high levels of maneuverability, they are becoming visible in a number of fields. Climate change is but one of the many extraordinary feats they play a key role in.
About Cloud Ground Control
Cloud Ground Control (CGC) is a revolutionary cloud-based drone fleet management platform that expedites multi-user, multi-vehicle and multi-domain operations.
It allows pilots and mission planners to remotely command and control a swarm of uncrewed vehicles across air, land and sea through a web-browser, stream real-time video feed and telemetry, and easily access and manage captured data.
By providing full situational awareness in unfolding events, CGC plays a vital role in search and rescue, emergency response and disaster relief operations. Continuing to expand human capabilities in diverse missions, CGC is heralding a new era of drones and robotics endeavors.
For more information visit www.CloudGroundControl.com
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