The use of drones in asset inspection has gained popularity in several industries having major assets that need to be inspected every now and then. The proper functioning of assets is a crucial factor for all industries. Errors and damages on assets that go unnoticed could pose a major risk and even result in major losses in the long run. This is where drone asset inspection comes in handy.
Using UAVs for inspection is far more advantageous compared to the traditional tools and techniques previously used. Many entities and industries operate diverse kinds of infrastructure. Regular inspection of the infrastructure is paramount to detect any faults or damages causing interruptions and enhance safety and proper functionality.
Manual inspection is not only a huge operational cost but is also a dangerous operation to undertake in areas where the topography is risky to navigate through. This, however, has been made easier through the use of drones which dramatically cut down inspection costs and enhance worker safety by eliminating the manual inspection process.
Some of the assets that can be inspected through drones include, but are not limited to:
I. Solar Farms
Drones have specialized sensors that offer efficient service in solar farm inspections and highly facilitate the planning process. Solar plants are quite large in size. Human inspection is a time-consuming process and poses a health risk to workers. Thermal imaging cameras can transmit visual footage regarding defective panels to the ground engineers who can then analyze the collected data.
They cover huge tracts of land. Conducting inspections for damage detection becomes a more resourceful process when using UAVs that fly in sight, allowing for a more detailed railroad inspection and collection of accurate image data for proper analysis.
Bridge inspections are risky, especially when using traditional techniques that involve using ropes. Interruptions such as closing down the bridge to traffic while conducting inspections is also an inconvenience. Using drones, however, allows for easy capturing of still and infrared images and video data of the specific bride areas which can then be analyzed for defect detection.
IV. Gas and Oil Inspection
Drones can be used for offshore and onshore gas and oil project aerial inspections. Gas and oil operations would initially be shut down to allow for inspection but drones have changed all that. Aerial inspections allow for more gathered data in the least time possible, zero downtime, and enhanced worker safety.
V. Wind Farms
Damaged turbines can be inspected using drones that collect high-definition aerial visual data of the turbine blades, pinpointing the defects in place which engineers can then analyze and take corrective action.
VI. Cell Towers
Climbing cell towers is a dreaded task to undertake even by engineers. They avoid it in every way possible. Thanks to drones, engineers can have an aerial live feed of the towers for a faster and more accurate data collection regarding the tower antennas and radio functionality, as well as defect detection. Birds also make nests on the towers.
Drones can help monitor these nests to ensure they don’t interfere with the tower’s functionality. Climbs can certainly not be replaced by drone flights, but minimizing them enhances worker safety.
The use of drones in asset inspection comes with many benefits to it such as:
- Time-saving– Some terrains take a lot of time to inspect and collect data. Traditional techniques take up a lot of time. Drones, however, perform the inspections quickly and offer quality data.
- Eliminated downtime– Some infrastructure needs to be shut down for traditional inspection to be carried out to avoid damaging the equipment. Drones eliminate these interruptions since they do not interfere with the assets under inspection while they collect aerial data.
- Accurate data collection– accurate well-detailed data can be collected using drones. High-resolution images and high definition videos can be captured using drones, availing in-depth data for a more detailed analysis.
Asset inspection just got easier and better, thanks to the use of drones. Engineers, contractors, and surveyors can confidently employ drone services while conducting asset inspections. Professionally licensed drone operators can be contracted for safe and effective inspections and data collection. No more tedious traditional techniques. Let drones do all the asset inspection for you.