Railhead Corp., Volant UAS team up to bring drones to the rail industry

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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Railhead Corp., manufacturer of safety lighting, tools, mobile video surveillance and locomotive data recorders has teamed up with Volant Unmanned Aerial Solutions (UAS) to bring the Lockheed Martin-made Digital Indago™ LE vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone to the rail industry.

Railhead Corp. says it plans to use the drone for track and bridge inspection, rail yard safety, 3D modeling, as well as the search for rock formations and the overgrowth of vegetation that could lead to train derailments. The company, which manufacturers its products for the Class I, short line and passenger rail roads, hopes to partner up with those same railroads in hopes that they will utilize the drone’s software. Currently, BNSF is the only railroad that has sought Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approval to use unmanned aerial vehicles to assist in the inspection of its infrastructure and operations.

The Digital Indago™ LE VTOL easily fits into a trunk and deploys in minutes to provide an aerial perspective of confined, crowded, or otherwise inaccessible areas. A key instrument for assessing volatile or potentially dangerous situations, enhancing responder safety, the Indago LE drone, which, can fly for up to 50 minutes and up to 500 feet high, is also ideal for scouting missions to capture imagery and developing training models, Volant UAS says.

Senetra is an authorized dealer of Lockheed Martin’s Digital Indago™ LE drone.

Some of the drone’s benefits include:

• Provides on-demand aerial reconnaissance during search and rescue activities.

• Captures visual records for pre-mission planning and post-mission assessment.

• Helps protect professionals by acquiring event imagery.

• Integrates with Sentera OnTop™ to organize, store, view and share data with a team.

The Indago™ LE is a highly versatile drone, which accepts multiple sensors, ensuring every mission is equipped to capture precise data. Compatible sensors include Lockheed Martin’s Duo+ and Ion 30x, and Sentera’s modified Sony® DSC-QX10, Double, Quad and Single Sensors.

Once data is collected, hundreds of images must be managed to unlock the value embedded within the imagery. Sentera’s proprietary software solution, OnTop™, enables officers and professionals to do just that. Sentera’s OnTop™ software solution allows users to organize, store, view, comment on, and share critical images with teams and organizations, expanding the circle of impact. The Sentera OnTop™ software solution is compatible with many of the most popular analytics, mosaicking, and 3D modeling tools, making flow of imagery and information from capture to detailed analysis virtually seamless, the company says.

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