DRONE ASSET INSPECTION
How can Drone Technologies be used for asset inspections in any industry?
Drone Technologies leverages the latest in aerial technology to provide faster, safer and higher quality asset inspections to our clients. By utilising drones we reduce the risk to workers performing manual inspections, remove the need for scaffolding or elevated work platforms and reduce the down time of assets by allowing inspections to be conducted with minimal setup or even during plant operation. These factors all result in cost and time savings when Drone Technologies are implemented in asset inspection instead of traditional methods.
The Importance of Regular Asset Inspection
All asset inspections are unique, depending on the data requirements and accessibility of the asset. However, one constant is the necessity for regular inspections to identify any current or potential faults. Which may lead to service interruptions, asset damage, or other hazards to people or the environment caused by malfunctioning equipment. Preemptive fault detection can save millions of dollars in equipment maintenance, personnel safety and avoid asset downtime.
Types of Drone Inspections
The most common inspection format, visual inspections can applied to all asset types. Drone mounted visual sensors allow pilots to capture high resolution imagery of difficult to reach components and their surrounding environment. Visual drone asset inspections can be conducted quickly, often without disrupting equipment service time and the imagery provided can lead to rapid fault identification. Equipping the client with a powerful tool for making informed decisions about their maintenance schedule.
Drone based thermal inspections of solar farms, commercial or private roofing, industrial manufacturing plants and many more offer a time saving and risk reducing solution for asset inspection when compared to handheld thermographic practices. Thermographic inspections are conducted by using a thermal imager to capture the thermal pattern on an objects surface. To a trained eye, these patterns can assist in diagnosing a whole array of defects and can even be used to determine if the defect occurred during manufacture, installation or operation.
Mostly applied in the agriculture sector, through the use of near-infrared imagery and NDVI datasets, multispectral sensors are used for identifying defects in organic assets. This is achieved by comparing the output of different wavelengths of light and their intensity. For example, the cornerstone of a Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is the fact that healthy vegetation will reflect more near infrared and green light compared to other wavelengths.
Used in a wide array of industries, drone mounted hyper-spectral sensors can assist in wildlife monitoring, chemical, material and biological detection, geological mapping, agriculture analysis and environmental monitoring. Recently hyperspectral sensors have been shown to be an effective solution for autonomous detection of defects in road pavements.
Light Detection and Ranging devices can be fitted to drones in order to generate rapid accurate real world models of assets. Drone mounted LiDAR operation are regularly used for inspections of powerlines, dam walls, tellecommunication towers, pipelines, mine shafts and factories.