Microwave Backbone LOS study in BURKINA FASO
January/February 2019



Microwave Transmission BackBone for GIZ Burkina
LINE of SIGHT (LOS) Study and Existing Tower validation


ULYSCO hired NETIS to deliver complete data sets and reporting for covering any details needed to feed an accurate 800 km SDH Backbone study from South to deep North of BURKINA FASO.

Main targets from this scope was:

  • To confirm Line of Sight (LOS) for proper microwave installation,
  • To feed ULYSCO engineering team with accurate data for backbone design,
  • To validate space availability and infrastructural status of existing telecom infrastructures
  • To validate theoretical point for potential new site build
  • To collect mandatory information for a complete and applicable solution design as power, access, etc…

Project Overview:

Localised and postproceeded Tower General view

ULYSCO management decided to use DRONE by NETIS solution to ensure a rapid and accurate data collection
This study was requesting a serious and proven content as dedicated to a sensitive final project. Existing structures, frequently older than 15 years, located in remote and climatically agressive areas are complicated to be properly maintain for owners. We were expecting surprises occurs and they did.
Operators and Tower Companies are facing daily complicated goals to be completed to ensure tower, radio equipment and power devices to be available and operational

Using drones was the guaranty to recover good and trustable data for any stage of the scope requested and also mainly to save time on site for project planning and minimized field presence.
Security context was the first issue as field teams were planned to cover by road more than 2000 km from Ouagadougou to reach south and north remote sites. A third of this journey was clearly identified in unsafe RED zones and requested us to be quick, agile, responsive and with a strong escort for the northern part.
– The second was to fly drone in Country with proper authorisation, strong HSE/RSE management, ensure public natural curiosity not to cause any injuries and or panic in a full respect of population and environment.

DRONE by NETIS – BURKINA FASO Operation – BANI 7 MOSKS – 02/2109

The 45 final site list have been covered and audited and our DRONE by NETIS pilots did this work in less than 15 open days for data acquisition with tower from 35 up to 80m. Thanks to our customer organisation this trip was held without any significant issue or accident out of 7 punctures. Any kind of standard telecom towers were represented. Tree and Four leg Pylon and also Guyed tower.

From all the sites closely auscultated, we have been able to spot and reference many issues from minor as paint defaults, impacting design as antennae’s space availability and height discrepancies to also major problem as tower integrity, twisted and bended structures and corroded guyed…

Why using drone makes a difference ?

Following images shows exactly why drones are so powerful and agile, giving audit teams the chance to identify quickly defaults on site, sort them in sensitivity and, for our specific scope, immediately qualify or disqualify some candidate and focus immediately on alternative solution or a nearby tower more adapted

DRONE by NETIS - BURKINA FASO Operation - BIRD EYE VIEW 100m Radius - February 2109
DRONE by NETIS - BURKINA FASO Operation - PANORAMIC - February 2109
360° PANORAMIC View for LOS validation – Accuracy detail

This on-site agility allowed multiple exchanges and immediate decisions, avoided possible later technical disputes, extra useless and unsafe additional travels and mainly capacity to live change and adapt our initial design with accuracy and efficiency


DRONE by NETIS - BURKINA FASO Operation - 02 - February 2109
No road ? No time ? A site is very complicated to access and will heavily delay your planning ?
Reach it in a minute and avoid time losses with same accuracy

45 report were delivered on a dedicated Server accessible to our client and the end users

DRONE by NETIS team is proud to have been part of this success for all actors involved in this project :
Thanks to the ULYSCO staff for their trust and strong team spirit.
Thanks to GIZ Burkina team for the coordination

Key Numbers for this mission:

DRONE by NETIS – BURKINA FASO Operation – BAOBAB from the sky – February 2109
  • 2467 Km by car for more for more than 150 hours.
  • 15 days for field operations.
  • 7 tires punctured.
  • 1 broken back that requested a quick team swap (so large skiled & available team)
  • Up to 20 officers from Burkina Gendarmerie. Thanks to them and their professionalism.
  • 45 sites surveyed for 27,45 flight hours.
  • 2 inaccessible sites surveyed in less than 30 minuts.
  • 20 475 m positive flight.
  • 57 Batteries cycle for one single Phantom 2 PRO Plus.
  • 2 propellers sets… Dust and Sand is an issue in those areas.
  • Lot of Prey Birds and Crows disturbed and avoided and 2 bee nets attack
  • Liters of water
  • 6 hours field operational training of local future DRONE by NETIS pilots.
  • Close to 1 additional “Fly4Pleasure” hour that let us fly over gorgeous Burkinabe landscapes as Bani and Taparko.
  • 1,56 TO of raw pictures and videos collected.
  • 129 hours for post processing and data analysis including 42 hours machine time.
  • 45 High definition 360° Panoramic and environmental bird eyes views 2D orthoptical mapping.
  • Hundreds of accurate structural imaging in high definition.
  • Full and detailled space availability data for each tower legs.
  • Analysed data available on a dedicated and secured FTP platform.
DRONE by NETIS - BURKINA FASO Operation - 01 - February 2109

Drone usage seems easy and very accessible. It is, but that’s not so simple… you have to keep in mind that such “big boy toys” are dangerous, technicaly demanding, requests training and very strong safety management on field and ahead at the office.
=> You need flight authorisation and to be compliant with local regulation. Do not play with that. You could face very big problems with authorities.
=> Be respectful of local inhabitant neighbours and first of all think about their safety !

Flying for flying is not the ultimate goal for such operation.
Managing drone process is a long chain of skilled staff, hardwares, softwares and organisation.
To be succesfull and safe in this business you need to thing about :
=> Mission project manager, Logistic, Identify the good UAV for the good mission, Trained and Trustable Pilot, Flying Assistant, Photography knowledge, Post processing tools and skilled people to manage them, Communication and storage solution for huge amount of data, …
Most important, in any case you will need a real proven expert that will be able to analyse and handdle valuable and added value reporting from all this…

DRONE by NETIS Department

1 comment

Leave a Reply