ADIJAN- “Drones have become my passion” said Noursely Doumbia a student who holds a degree in electronics and is currently learning to pilot drones as part of a pioneering programme in Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan.
Training is being offered at a new ‘drone academy’, the new academy has being offered by the Ivorian Electricity Company (CIE) in order to revolutionize the inspection of its infrastructure and ultimately to reduce costs.
Drones usually used in the United States and Europe, it is however a rare site in West Africa. The commercial market is expanding for a unmanned aircraft.
CIE majority-owned by France’s Eranove Group their main aim is be a key provider of water and electricity in West Africa, train around 20 local pilots to inspect its high-voltage lines which crisis-cross the country, stretching more than 25 000km.
Benjamin Mathon a pilot in charge of the youth academy said, “We have a lot of problems with vegetation, we need to clear it all the time and it’s difficult because it’s all across the whole country,”
The students not only learn how to fly drones, they also learn how to assemble and repair them, how to use different software packages to analyse the images and the resulting data, as well as geolocalisation and mapping.
The company is hoping to reduce the average length of power outages, which are the norm in parts of the Ivory Coast, particularly for their 1.3 million customers.
Photo Credit- Phys.org