Delta Drone International Pilots Africa’s First Concentrated Solar Power Plant Survey


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Leading drone service provider, Delta Drone International has exhibited its expertise in tailored solutions, with its specialist brand, RocketFarm piloting Africa’s first concentrated solar power (CSP) plant survey.


RocketFarm, the UAV and AI solutions provider for the agricultural and renewable energy sectors, created the fully customised solution that included a deep dive into code and re-training the thermal AI detection formula, enabling the drones to fly at the height and angles and take the picture required to detect broken mirrors and defective heat elements. This will provide the customer analysis on future performance and optimization. 

The survey is extremely complex owing to the reason that the tracking panels are constantly moving with respect to the sun, along with the reflective nature of the solar plant’s mirrors that would produce a false reading in case they reflect the sky or the ground.

According to Zander Van Pletzen, the RocketFarm Project Lead, without an existing guide, the survey and data acquisition involved flying a sample of the site at different speeds, angles, and heights. The drones equipped with a multi-spectrum sensor (RGB & Thermal) have provided the team with multiple points of data to analyze.

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“While flying is the simplest aspect of the mission, the interpretation of the data and analysis for the CSP plants owners and stakeholders has been a complex and insightful undertaking that will provide long-standing benefits in maintenance, profitability, and possibly greater uptake of CSP plants,” He added.

CEO of Delta Drone International, Christopher Clark has noted that many of the company’s enterprise customers trust them to perform the surveys to keep their multibillion-dollar projects operable. 

The concentrated solar power plants cost billions to build and only the most experienced pilots with specialist expertise in agriculture are able to code the complex algorithms required for the project. This pioneering survey is expected to transform the global energy sector in the near future.

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies generate solar power using mirrors to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a receiver and convert it into heat that produces steam to drive a turbine, generating electrical power.

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