Today’s world is full of infrastructure that ranges from telecommunication towers, through to huge solar farms that light up a city. These assets play a vital backbone in how our society operates with all the benefits of modern technology. Regular inspections of these assets are essential to identify potential risks and maintenance needs. Traditional inspection methods can be time-consuming, costly, and pose unnecessary risks for human inspectors.
The great thing about drones is that it allows inspections to take place, without risk to human life, and with a high degree of flexibility, revolutionising the field of asset inspections. Lucky for you as a pilot, there are plenty of asset owners who are looking to have their assets inspected. In this guide, we will explore the numerous ways drones are useful in asset inspections which you can sell to potential clients, or if you’re looking to supply your own inspection workforce with them.
Improved Efficiency and Cost Savings
Drones are equipped with high-resolution cameras capturing detailed visual data, are small enough to navigate hard-to-reach areas, and also have multitudes of sensors on them to reduce collisions such as on the Mavic 3 Enterprise. This speed and agility allows inspections to be completed in significantly less time compared to traditional methods. Additionally, the ability to cover large areas in a single flight (or stay in one place) reduces the need for manual labour and equipment, resulting in substantial cost savings for asset owners and operators.
Enhanced Safety for Inspectors
Asset inspections often involve risks such as working at heights, accessing hazardous locations (including confined spaces), or dealing with structurally compromised assets. By utilising drones such as the Matrice 350 RTK or the Matrice 30, these risks can be mitigated significantly, as they eliminate the requirement for human inspectors to physically access these dangerous areas. Drones can fly close to assets, capturing high-resolution images and videos, thereby providing comprehensive inspection data without compromising human safety.
- Example Industries
- Construction & Infrastructure
- Site inspections
- Building and roof
- Oil, Gas and Water
- Tank and storage
- Telecommunication towers
- Power transmission
- Wind turbine
- Tailing dams & quarry
- Construction & Infrastructure
- By the Numbers
- Worth AUD $34b by 2027 at a CAGR of 14.6% from 2022 to 20271.
Unparalleled Data Collection and Analysis
Drones are equipped with ever increasing advanced sensors, such as thermal (Mavic 3 Thermal & Matrice 30T) or LiDAR (Zenmuse L1). These sensors can capture detail beyond visible imagery to enhance insights into assets not otherwise easily available. For example, thermal imaging allows engineers to identify anomalies, such as overheating components or insulation problems, which are invisible to the human eye. LiDAR technology enables the creation of 3D models in amazing detail, facilitating accurate measurements, structural analysis, and volumetric calculation. By integrating these datasets with powerful analytics software, asset owners can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions regarding maintenance, repair, and replacement strategies.
Drones are still an exciting and emerging industry, however they have found huge potential for businesses with assets that require continuous inspections. Drones offer unmatched efficiency, safety, and data quality, with some better suited to inspections than others. By leveraging their capabilities, asset owners and operators can optimise maintenance strategies, reduce costs, and enhance the reliability of critical infrastructure. The use of drones in asset inspections is rapidly gaining momentum, enabling industries to overcome traditional limitations and allowing new approaches towards high efficiency asset management. As technology continues to advance, we can expect further innovations in drone technology, ultimately transforming asset inspections into a streamlined and data-driven process.