SenSat Stories | Drones in Paradise


Drones in paradise: Making friends (and drinking rum) in the Caribbean 


In 2017, SenSat went to Antigua to digitise a $25 million Highways upgrade scheme

Romain Kirchhoff & Matt Pinner

2017 // 4 minute read

SenSat were in Antigua to deliver a survey of a $25 million Highways upgrade scheme. With design work due to begin in one month and limited surveying resources available on the island, SenSat were tasked to deliver the project, running perpendicular to an airport, without disrupting local traffic or aircraft, within one week and without losing accuracy.


The aim of the works was to deliver a full topographical model for new road and drainage designs and also assess property boundaries to minimise disruption to the local community.

The average wind speed in Antigua is 9.8m/s which could increase the flight time of the drone. SenSat planned flights to take advantage of the trade winds, resulting in less time spent in the air. 


With these time savings, SenSat were able to complete the 10km survey within 2.5 days. And delivered the initial data sets to the design teams within 7 working days of completion.

El Dorado Rum


Sun, sea and smoothies; we were in paradise. After 3 days working tirelessly in 35o heat, it was time to celebrate. Our client took us to the Miracles Restaurant at Jolly Harbour, where the greatest sportsmen wined and dined following cricket at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium. Upon entering, we were greeted by the sound of reggae, dancing and large glasses of El Dorado Rum (the high wine). Rumour has it this rum is used to fuel the country's lawnmowers and has the strength to power commercial airliners (72%).

After sitting down at the table, the drinks began to flow as we tucked into our goat curry and warm roti. I kept hearing the phrase “have another high wine”, and before I knew it I had…several times. Now the owner of the bar was so impressed with my effort to consume the entire bottle, she presented me with the remaining liquid for free. Harry could see this was only going to end one way. 


After beating the England Cricket Team’s record (12 shots), I was myself beaten. A zombie like state consumed me for the next 15 hours, unable to move or speak. If you do happen to find yourself at Miracles in Jolly Harbour, check the hall of fame and look out for the pasty white English guy grinning a bit too much. My complexion is much better now - I’ve only drunk water since.

A view of the team’s inter island transport, supposedly shipwrecked and unable to return to scans of the M25 in sunny Surrey. 


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