UAV Inspection Services
What are UAV inspection services?
UAV inspections are utilised for the capture of tall, inaccessible, or large-scale assets and infrastructure that can be dangerous for personnel or difficult to access manually.
How are UAV inspection services executed?
Most inspection work is affected by using high-resolution colour cameras. Additionally, thermal sensors can be utilised to inspect temperature variations or the presence of water that can highlight issues within structures. UAV inspections are performed with the UAV ‘pilot’ remaining in a safe location away from the area of interest, but close enough to maintain connection with the UAV while it inspects the asset.
How are UAV inspection services utilised?
UAV inspections can be used for simple roof inspections or for complex asset inspections such as bridges, towers or important frameworks. The inspection of structures can also include internal inspections in which UAVs are flown inside structures such as tanks, tunnels or mineshafts. The data they collect can then be integrated with existing asset-management systems or monitoring programs.
Types of assets inspected via UAVs include (but are not limited to) the following:
- utility towers;
- wind turbines;
- air transport infrastructure, including airstrips and air towers;
- tanks and silos; and
- chimney and waste stacks.
What are the benefits of using UAV inspection services?
- UAVs are the optimal choice for areas where manned aircraft cannot fly safely, such as close to a building or a cell-phone tower.
- UAVs are the only choice for areas where manned aircraft cannot fly at all, such as along narrow streets, under bridges or inside a covered stadium, and for those too far from airports. UAVs need only small areas for take-off and landing — no more than a few square metres for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) models.
- They are also more cost-effective for repeated surveys of small areas, such as monitoring progress on building and construction sites.
- UAV inspections are a cost-effective solution when accessibility is an issue. For example, for manual inspections by qualified staff, rope access, via elevated work platforms or by manned helicopters.
- UAV inspections are safer than their manual counterparts because they remove the need for working at heights, in confined spaces or near hazardous sites.
- UAVs are a faster alternative to traditional data-capture methods, and the data captured is of higher quality where an asset can undergo full coverage with high-resolution imagery and potentially optional 3D models.
- In some monitoring cases automated defect and change detection between inspections is also workable.
What challenges can Land Surveys solve with UAV inspection services?
Wind turbine inspections:
Maintenance work on wind turbines, including the time required for repairs, is a high annual cost. UAV inspections of wind turbine blades can be used to generate 3D models of the blades and identify defects in real time.
Industrial tank inspections:
When tanks are left to age without maintenance, they develop leaks that may cause costly repairs or, worse, tank collapse. Tank leaks can also cause serious environmental pollution and workplace damage. Routine tank inspections are therefore vital in identifying and preventing potentially catastrophic tank defects. UAVs, rather than conventional inspection procedures, are currently used to inspect cargo and ballast tanks for ships, tanks for oil and gas storage and transport, water and wastewater treatment plants, power plants and warehouses (among other assets).
UAV inspections can be applied to different types of towers such as monopole, self-support lattice, guy cable or rooftop towers. In telecommunications, cell tower businesses are continuing to utilise all these, particularly in light of the development of the 5G network. However, any unintentional separation between the designed and constructed tower components may create major problems for a development company. So therefore accurate information about a tower’s real condition and maintenance status can help to potentially negative financial and operational consequences. UAV inspection of towers is thereby valuable given that it can be applied at any location and, importantly, deliver results quickly. Monitoring software can be applied for automated analysis to collect information about the type, location, and orientation of each tower component, identifying any defects and corrosion for future maintenance.
Conventional bridge inspection is typically performed using cranes, boats or trucks with large booms to carry inspection crews. But this poses critical safety risks.. These traditional inspections are costly, and costs increase when interruptions occur because of problems with necessary lane closures. UAVs are cheaper to operate, are unaffected by traffic levels and are more environmentally friendly. The aerial data gathered can also be incorporated with Land Surveys’ existing methodologies to produce high-resolution point clouds and 3D models of bridges.
Why choose Land Surveys UAV inspection services?
Land Surveys has a long-standing operating history and a highly experienced workforce. It has accumulated substantial knowledge and intellectual property for 25 years and this is actively utilised daily by our 300-plus skilled staff members nationwide.
Land Surveys’ people and their collective skills and experience are the company’s strongest asset. This is readily evident across a range of functions including UAV inspections, aerial surveying, flight planning, photogrammetry, 3D modelling, remote monitoring via light detection and ranging (LiDAR) processing and research and development activities.