Aereo (formerly Aarav Unmanned Systems), the leading Indian end-to-end drone solutions start-up bags the largest drone solutions contract from Coal India Limited (CIL). The open tender process saw participation from multiple bidders wherein Aereo emerged as the lowest (L1) bidder with the highest technical score. The $1 million contract is part of a bigger digital initiative that is being undertaken by Coal India Limited. Aereo would provide advanced analytics through its proprietary web platform and indigenous survey-grade PPK drones to 7 mines in Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) and South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) under CIL for a tenure of 3 years. This will support improve mining safety, environmental compliance, and overall efficiency of the open-cast mines.
Prior to this landmark project, Aereo was also given a result validation contract from Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI), a subsidiary of CIL. Aereo validated the accuracy of photogrammetry data across 50 mining sites and computed results. Based on the favorable outcome of these results and other subsequent
efforts made by the CMPDI, an amendment has been made to the Yellow Book of Coal India (Notification No: CIL/C-1/Yellow Book/23/42, Dated: 02.02.2023). According to this amendment, drone-based photogrammetry for volumetric assessment is mandatory on a regular basis. The amendment also lists several SOPs that include the use of PPK drones and DGPS base stations.
Under the new Yellow Book amendment and CIL’s latest contract, Aereo would be the first company to regularly render its drone solutions to India’s largest coal mines. Apart from deploying its survey-grade drones and drone pilots, Aereo would also generate orthomosaics, digital elevation models (DEMs), and deep analytics on its web platform. Additionally, it will participate in a knowledge transfer exercise with CIL through training and guiding the existing survey teams of CIL.
This will be the first-ever drone usage of this scale to be undertaken for mining in India. The contract with CIL marks Aereo’s second biggest success after a long-term engagement with Tata Steel to jointly develop and provide sustainable end-to-end drone solutions that will focus on the efficiency, safety, and productivity of open cast mining operations.
On winning the contract, Vipul Singh, Founder, and CEO, Aereo stated, “Aereo is proud and delighted to work with CIL and Accenture on India’s largest mine mapping project to date. This contract marks a significant milestone for Aereo and CIL in terms of technological scalability. It will help shape India’s journey to becoming energy self-sufficient. The advanced analytics delivered in this project will enable large-scale digitization of some of the most important mines of this country. That will pave the way for more efficient, safer, and environmentally conscious mining operations. Using our end-to-end drone solutions stack, we have successfully delivered critical business intelligence to over 500 mines in the past. Aereo has always worked towards creating impactful drone-based solutions. This collaboration is a leap toward the rapid adoption of commercial drone technology in India.”