Helsinki City Construction Services Stara and Helsinki Rescue Department are currently piloting a new kind of drone service in cooperation with Forum Virium Helsinki. The goal is to streamline environmental care and rescue department work and reduce the City’s CO2 emissions.
The pilot will be testing a service produced by Elisa and Vertical Hobby, which utilises the 5G network and 8K high-quality 360 video. Forum Virium Helsinki selected the service for drone-as-a-service programme in June as part of the Carbon Neutral Drone Service Solutions in Southern Finland project.
More efficient nature reserve maintenance and oil spill control
Stara is experimenting with the drone service in photographing natural areas such as forests and nature reserves to allocate care. The drones can be used for determining the condition of forests after storm damage, locating rugosa rose occurrences in the archipelago and finding the benches of Suomenlinna (which happen to be moved by the visitors of the island). Test flights to determine storm damage were conducted in Central Park on 16 September and rugosa rose and bench locating test flights were carried out in the archipelago on 22 September.
The Rescue Department will be testing the drone service towards the end of September in installing surface oil dispersal booms and utilising the real time situation picture. Drones are able to carry a weight of up to 20 kilograms, which is why they might be used to replace manned flights for heavy lifting tasks.
The tangible benefit of the service is that damage caused by storms, for example, can be assessed and repaired directly after the storm thanks to the drone and 360 live video. The live video can be simultaneously monitored by several parties in different locations. This saves on mileage and overlapping work and results in a shorter response time and reduced CO2 emissions.
5G and drones lend a new ecological perspective to area surveillance
The drone service can also be utilised in several other ways: it can be used to supervise work sites, identify risks in real-time with the help of artificial intelligence and look for safe landing sites by identifying people and pets in a specific area.
Technically, the service is made possible by Elisa’s extensive 5G network. It facilitates the transmission of high-quality 8K 360 video from the air to terminal devices in real time. Similar videos have traditionally had to be shot from manned small aircraft or helicopters. The live video produced by the drone service can also be monitored on mobile devices anywhere, even on solid ground.
The Carbon Neutral Drone Service Solutions In Southern Finland project is funded by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The pilot is seeking carbon-neutral solutions to support the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 action plan. Achieving carbon-neutrality by the end of 2020 is also one of Elisa’s goals. Elisa’s mission is to build a sustainable future through digital services, and developing low-carbon services is an important part of this.