Over the past two years, the number of drone manufacturer start-ups  has increased exponentially. Drone manufacturer start-ups have reached numbers in the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands. Whether you are seeking a drone to map out fields for agricultural plotting or a drone to take a photo of your wedding from up above, there is a drone who can help. There are even window-washing drones.

But what the industry is seeking now are drones that can inspect roofs and powerlines during high winds and torrential rains. This niche area of drone operation is called ‘inspection and monitoring during duress’ (IMUD). These drones need to be able to operate in rain storms, high winds, snow storms, sand storms, flammable or toxic gas atmospheres, and, potentially, even fires. These drones need to be able to hold station in high winds, be waterproof, be unaffected by temperature, be resistant to abrasion, and remain unaffected by atmospheric composition.

Some drone manufacturers are already experimenting with flights in high winds. These manufacturers looked to mother nature for inspiration and modeled the drone structure on certain migrating birds to develop new components on the drones. Other drone manufacturers are experimenting with GPS signals and imaging in areas of high concentrations of flammable gas or dust. And some drone manufacturers are also beginning to create sensor technologies that can use non-dispersive infra-red detectors to detect gas emissions (and even radiation leaks). Keep an eye out for these new drone designs and technologies –they may be useful to your business to increase efficiency and lower costs, as well as reduce safety hazards for your employees.