Terra Drone Europe carried out several tests with oil and gas company Shell PDO in Oman to evaluate the use of drones in the dropping of seismic sensors.

The tests were conducted in three phases. In the first phase Terra Drone Europe developed a node dropping mechanism to be carried under the DJI M600 drone. This first phase was concluded by test flights in the Netherlands that were attended by Shell aviation to audit the Health and Safety implications. The second phase consisted of real live tests in the dessert in Oman.

All lessons learned from this second phase were used to further refine the dropping mechanism and to adapt the flight software to be able to carry out the dropping autonomously. This was demonstrated in the third phase at the beginning of 2019.

The drone and dropping mechanism were able to automatically take off and travel over 4 kilometers across mountainous terrain and drop the 6 nodes using RTK positioning at the exact prescribed locations.