• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

Drone Startup Aereo Wins $1 Mn Contract From Coal India To Digitise Coal Mines

The contract win is largest drone solutions contract from CIL

Photo Credit :


Aereo (formerly Aarav Unmanned Systems) on Thursday announced it won 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 USD 1 million contract is part of a bigger digital initiative that is being undertaken by Coal India Limited.

Under the contract, Aereo will provide advanced analytics through its proprietary web platform and indigenous survey-grade PPK drones to seven mines in Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) and South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) under CIL for a tenure of 3 years. This will help 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 will 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 will 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 offer sustainable end-to-end drone solutions that will focus on the efficiency, safety, and productivity of open cast mining operations.

Tags assigned to this article:
Aereo Aarav Unmanned Systems Coal India (CIL)