Photo Credit: Elistair
Various pilots fly drones for different reasons. They could be photographers looking for the perfect aerial shot, videographers getting the best angle for an event, or FPV racers flying through national league courses. However, that's not all drones are limited to. Entrepreneurs are finding more applications for drones everyday. Their ingenuity and drones' convenience have led to yet another innovation: drone tethering.
Essentially, drone tethering is a method of flying a drone while keeping it linked to one location, allowing the pilot to fly their drone with a reduced risk of crashing. Drone tethering businesses employ this method with the added purpose of keeping the drone in the air for extended periods of time. They power the drones by connecting their tether to a ground station that provides it with power, keeping mobility limited and flight continuous for hours.
A long flight time is one of the most marketable features you can have on a drone. While many high-end drones boast flight times of 20 - 30 minutes, some people need the convenience of a drone 24/7. That's the market drone tethering businesses find themselves in and they have taken advantage of it. Over the past decade, many companies were founded to provide this service for different purposes. Companies rely on drone tethering for security, broadcasting and more.
Elistair is a drone tethering business that specializes in providing their services to those in areas such as the defense, private and public safety, and telecommunications sectors. Last month, Elistair made headlines because French authorities chose to enlist their service to assist them in providing security for a music concert. Reportedly, the drone was deployed "to monitor access, entrances, exits, roads, people and vehicles at the event, with a situational awareness radium of 1.5km." Alexandre Auger, CEO of Adéole Network (a civil and professional drone company in Bordeaux) stated that previously, limited battery life put a huge amount of pressure on the company. The hours of battery life that tethering provides must have been a relief because they intend to use the same system in the future.
Another well establish drone tethering business is CyPhy Works: Persistent Aerial Solutions. CyPhy is a startup based in Danvers, Massachusetts whose tethering system reportedly keeps drones in the air for up to 2 weeks. They describe themselves as "research driven" and their product as "essential devices" and "transformative tech". CyPhy's clients are primarily in the defense, public safety, and commercial industries, and they purport to be the leading company in persistent aerial observation.
It doesn't end there. Fotokite, Hoverfly, and Powerline are all companies that advertise drone tethering services. If you find yourself or your business in need of a drone tethering business, there are plenty of options to choose from on the market.
I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron