Using drones to improve Agriculture, Security and Infrastructure development

About Solution

Statement of The Problem:
(1) The Niger Delta region is the oil producing area of Nigeria, which consists of highly diverse ecosystems that supports farming and fishing activities. Oil wells and pipelines owned by oil producing companies operating in these regions are located in the rural areas. Activities of these companies have led to dangerous conditions like crude oil spillages and gas flaring which is affecting the health and livelihoods of the rural dwellers who rely mostly on farming and fishing for feeding and income generation. This is hindering their ability to make a living and affecting economic growth in these regions. These unfavorable conditions have led to restiveness by the youths who have resorted to oil theft and pipeline sabotage causing more oil spillage.

(2) Also, most of the food consumed in Nigeria is grown in the Northern part of Nigeria. Since 2019 till date, this region has been plagued with terrorist insurgency (i.e. the Boko Haram insurgency). This Boko Haram conflict has decimated whole communities, destroyed food crops, killed cattle and forced farmers to flee to protective camps abandoning their farms. This is causing food insecurity and affecting agricultural production as many now rely on food aid from international organizations.

Our Solution:
Our Company (Lulu-Bird Technologies Limited) is proposing to solve the above problems using drone/UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology by employing the following strategies:

(1)   Monitor oil & gas pipelines against oil theft and oil spillage:
Our drones will be used for oil & gas pipeline monitoring to guard against oil theft & pipeline sabotage; drones will also help in oil spill detection thereby promoting quick response to clean-ups which will impact positively on the health & safety of people and the environment. This will be achieved by flying drones (equipped with object detection and tracking technology (Computer Vision Technology) and night vision camera) along the ROW (Right of way) of oil and gas pipelines. During monitoring, if the drone automatically detects an oil spill or an intruder in close proximity with the pipeline, it will automatically trigger an alarm in the ground control station to alert the drone pilot who then crosschecks to confirm it’s an intruder; based on confirmation, the drone pilot then notifies the security personnel manning the area (furnishing them with GPS coordinates and aerial coverage of the target location) and the culprits will be apprehended and spill site cleaned. We will also recruit and train community dwellers on how to build and fly drones for pipeline monitoring purposes.

(2) Drones will be deployed to address the security challenges faced in Northern Nigeria as a result of the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency. This will be achieved by giving aerial situation awareness to military personnel in their fight against terrorist. This would help to improve military strategy and reduce the casualty rate experienced in battle fields. Also, as more land is reclaimed by the Nigeria military, farmers will be able to return to their farmlands; and this will enhance food security and economic growth & development in these regions.

(3) Agriculture: Drones will be applied to farming to help increase crop production, monitor crop health (i.e. using plant health maps for analyzing problem areas on a farm), plan irrigation schedules, estimate yield data and help in crop spraying. Sensors and digital imaging capabilities can give farmers, soil and field analysis and also help farmers to oversee hundreds of acres of farm land. This information will prove useful in improving crop yield and farm efficiency.

(4) Drones will be deployed for mapping and surveying of large areas, construction sites and hazardous terrain: Drone generated maps (2D/3D maps) will be used for easy town planning, drainage planning, area/length/volume measurements (e.g. stockpile measurement) and monitoring progress in construction site etc. Drones will help in the construction of roads linking farmlands to market, and this will enable farmers to transport their perishable farm produce to the market on time.

(5) Facility Inspection: Drones would be used to inspect infrastructures (e.g. crude oil storage tanks, flare stacks, power lines, bridges, cell phone towers, roof tops etc.) for defects thereby promoting safety (HSE) by reducing the need to physically climb structures, eliminating the need for scaffold erection and avoiding damage to the environment which may occur as a result of a faulty facility.

(6) Drone product delivery: Delivery of e-commerce products, food and drugs etc. to remote areas where they are urgently needed.

(7) Drone Banner advertising: Banner imprinted with a client’s (e.g. farmers or MSME) product details will be attached to a drone and flown around customer preferred locations. This is a new and innovative way of advertising for businesses.

(8) Building drones and developing drone flight controller applications: Community dwellers will be recruited and trained on how to build and fly drones for various purposes

(9) Aerial cinematography: Offering aerial Photography & videography services to movie and media houses.

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