BVLOS DRONES (Beyond Visual Line of Sight).


Flying commercial long range BVLOS Drones

Being all the rage, drones have already had a big impact on our lives, industry in particular has benefited much from its introduction. But the real impact is still to come. The automation that comes with the current wave of digitisation is a natural bedfellow of automated long range BVLOS drones.


Currently pilots fly most drones within VLOS (Visual Line of Sight). This is because of regulatory constraints in many countries like the FAA in the USA. This not only a constraint in terms of the area of deployment, but also means that there is an enforced 1:1 relationship between man and machine. You can therefor only fly one drone per person at a time. Typically VLOS range is 500m from the drone operator. EVLOS (Extended Line of Sight) extends this to 1,5km.

Real value

The real value comes from for business comes from being able to operate a number of drones automatically over larger areas of deployment. These solutions are then also naturally more scalable because one operator can supervise a larger number of drones.

The longer flight times that come with long range BVLOS missions (up to 30kms range) are also more efficient because less time is spent and traveling to landing sites and with multiple landings and takeoffs during a single commercial mission.

Commercial BVLOS flight missions prove to be especially valuable in applications where assets and resources are distributed over large areas. From natural resources like forests, living assets like livestock or game, or distributed assets like pipelines and transmission lines. BVLOS applications can also include SAR, Disaster Management, Drone Delivery and Oil and Gas, to mention a few.


BVLOS Drones and effectiveness

Data Collection

Traditional data collection methods included manual, vehicle-based of helicopter based forms of inspection. These were all subject the a variety of challenges from manual errors to low resolution data collection. Programmable drone flights brings sensors closer to the target to capture higher resolution data. Precise flight plans repeats exactly every time to collect precise and pre-formatted data. The process of providing a quality, actionable data/information/intelligence to the recipient is speeded up to near real-time.

BVLOS Drones and efficiency


Case studies show that operating drones BVLOS are about 4 to 28 times more economical that helicopters per kilometre inspection flown.

Target area

The value of every extra kilometre of flight-time is graphically illustrated below. For example, when a drone responds to a security incident this could be in any direction from the point of take-off. Simply doubling flight time adds exponentially more strike area range each time. The following calculations apply:

Radius (range)                                          Potential area of coverage 

  • VLOS (500m)    :                                                    79km2
  • EVLOS (1,5km):                                                     07km2
  • BVLOS (30km)    :                                           2,827.43km2
BVLOS drones distance comparisons
Strike area for different categories of flight ranges


With criteria like costs and quality, safety also drive BVLOS based missions. Most of these sites are in difficult to navigate environments and inspection in these terrains can be arduous and dangerous.

To be able to fly such long range BVLOS commercial missions the aircraft needs to include certain minimum features. This would include the ability to: track the drone, sense and avoid obstacles, real-time data feed to a screen display at the control station.

Airborne Drones and BVLOS Drones

Airborne Drones is an internationally established manufacturer of leading edge long range BVLOS drones for commercial use.

The ATLAS-V and ATLAS-T are ideal solutions for persistent aerial presence with BVLOS long flight times.

Long range BVLOS quadcopter

Discover how you can future-proof your business with the use of thermal imaging drones. Contact Airborne Drones for your security solution today.