Top 3 tips for establishing a successful UAV program
11 May 2021

Top 3 tips for establishing a successful UAV program

Learn the best practices to scale your UAV program’s data management systems effectively.
Find out how to set up and scale a digital asset management program that will reduce pilot error, prevent data loss and save on daily operational time.

1. Folder and file management – process, process, process

Short Form Breakdown

Everything that your team does in the field and in the office needs a defined, documented process. This is no more essential than with file and folder management where a simple yet robust structure is essential to prevent data loss and increase time efficiency. Pre-preparation and on set diligence is key to success.

Examples of Drones in AEC

  • Move data frequently – Don’t wait until the very end of the day to start the sorting process. Swap cards and create new folders between shoots. A pause not only keeps data easier to sort but can also serve as a checkpoint to verify that scheduled content was captured. This reduces fatigue and error.
  • Create preset folders - This can be accomplished manually, but automating this repository creation by linkage to schedule, or directly to a mission planner or capture app is more efficient
  • Employ automation with tools such as the GNARBOX to automatically sort data by location captured at/on specific times and dates, and by specific assets - rather than just by chronological order of capture. This can greatly reduce man-hours spent thumbing through content prior to upload.
  • Create naming conventions for files that highlight the included content rather than just the sequential order

2. Stay in the know with emerging technologies

There are so many technical facets to drone data capture, from the hardware itself to the sensors the drones carry, to post-processing, data presentation, data analysis, hosting, and backups, etc. All of that is more than many teams (or IT departments for that matter) are comfortable with. Staying in the know and identifying key areas for you and the team to research and learn about monthly and quarterly is crucial. Research and evaluation need to be a continuing part of your program’s growth.


Automated sorting & uploading of data, also a valuable check for duplicate data, card formatting


A checksum is a small block of data pulled from another block of digital data that is used to detect any missing or erroneous information that may have been introduced during its transmission or storage to a new location. By using a checksum utility, a baseline measurement is established and allows for data monitoring to ensure proper retention. Examples of applications include Fixity, FastSum and ExactFile.

Airdata UAV

Flight log tracking and powerful analytics tool for drones. Roles, license holders and personnel management.

Hard disk sentinel

Software monitoring tool to detect errors in storage media

EZ OfficeInventory

Awesome tool for tracking AV gear, survey equipment, drones, tripods etc. Preventative maintenance and analytics tools built in.

Data workflows may not be the most glamorous part of the job, but they are crucial to building process-driven, scalable drone programs.

3. Develop the right mentalities

Successful programs emphasize gathering buy-in from stakeholders across departments into their drone programs -- and they do it by driving value. Almost every strong program whose tea, we engage with has an “anchor story” about a specific event involving their drone program that drove immense value. Some examples are: a $50k reduction in insurance costs, a massive reduction in risk, and a deployment that would have cost $35k in helicopters. Documenting ROI and presenting it constantly when advocating for change is a key mentality embraced by expanding orgs.

Once success has been achieved across multiple projects or areas of the organization with the drone program, program managers who are not afraid to ask for the resources they need are the ones that (surprise) get the tools to move forward. Technology investment requires risk, and to really expand, program managers need to take the success they’ve experienced and put it on the line to get the resources they need to really expand.

One of the most compelling mentalities of successful programs is thinking “future forward.” Almost every team we’ve spoken to that has grown rapidly can articulate a vision of what their program looks like in five years, not just next month, or next year. Looking at the value that can be driven by drones on this more distant horizon, and considering, planning for, and advocating for the use of future technologies is a crucial difference between programs that expand slowly, and those that are gaining real momentum.

This is a summary of Digital Asset Management for UAV Programs, a collaboration between Guinn Partners and Gnarbox. To download the full document please visit

For more information please contact our Sales Desk:
+44 (0)1457 851000 |

26 Nov 2021

Samyang launches new XEEN Premium lenses

Find out more...

15 Nov 2021

Midwich Live from the AV Awards

Find out more...

11 Nov 2021

Gnarbox Software Release 2.8.0

Find out more...

08 Nov 2021

INOGENI’s TOGGLE USB 3.0 Switcher wins at the 2021 AV Awards

Find out more...

Back to all news

GNARBOX 2.0 Drone Edition
GNARBOX 2.0 Drone Edition

Rugged backup device for Drone Operations - 1TB

Back to Top


We use cookies to help us offer you the best online experience. By continuing to use our website/or clicking Accept, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.