How Drones Are Helping To Revolutionize Inspections
In recent years, drones have completely transformed the way we interact with the world around us on both a personal and professional level. Changing the game in the inspection realm is the use of drones, especially infrared camera equipped. The cost savings and pinpoint accuracy of infrared drone inspections is mind blowing. Additionally, many hobbyists are now taking to the sky’s every weekend, while global retail giant Amazon have been trialing the use of drones to deliver packages to customers. – Shanghai even shunned the traditional fireworks display on New Year’s Eve and welcomed 2020 with a spectacular synchronized drone display.
Drones have also helped revolutionize the way companies are able to inspect roofs, buildings, wind turbines, solar farms, and even farm fields/agriculture. Not only is the technology allowing for more in-depth analysis but it is also increasing safety by reducing the need for inspectors to climb large structures, reduce liability, and increase safety.
Roof inspections are typically a highly-dangerous and incredibly time-consuming process, with inspectors previously forced to climb up high to search for potential issues. Drone roof inspections have completely changed the game, enabling inspections to now be carried out in just a fraction of the time and from the safety of the ground.
Using the very latest Zenmuse XT2 camera, with a FLIR infrared thermal sensor, we at Crosswind Analytics are able to help quickly and efficiently analyze a property. Our infrared thermal drone inspection will reveal possible water damage on roofs by showing the different temperatures across the top of the roof. This is achieved by performing the inspection right after sundown. The thermal loading on the roof starts to dissipate rapidly when the sun goes down, but any areas that have water penetration/damage release the heat a much slower rate. Therefore, those areas of water damage show up hotter on the infrared image.
The use of thermal infrared drones is helping to provide an entirely new perspective for roof water damage inspections. The thermographic imagery is able to reveal problems that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye; helping to identify areas in need of repair before serious damage is caused. By being able to closely capture imagery of the entire building, we are able to help you to identify and map out areas in need of replacement or repair; allowing you to create an efficient and less time-consuming plan of maintenance. More importantly, this allows the business or owner to do spot repairs, thus avoiding complete roof replacements. The savings are huge and justify the cost of the thermal drone inspection many times over.
Alongside helping to provide highly detailed infrared drone inspection analysis of buildings, we are also able to cover various utility infrastructures in Illinois, Wisconsin, and virtually anywhere in the world such as wind turbines and solar farms. Across the world, there are estimated to be just under 400,000 wind turbines in operation and each one requires regular inspections and maintenance. This typically meant a three man team completing a laborious climb to inspect each blade individually – however thermal infrared drone technology is reducing this process significantly.
Using the integrated 4K visual camera, and 640X512 radiometric FLIR camera, we are able to transmit and capture real-time imagery; meaning inspectors can reduce the amount of times they are required to scale these giant structures. Typically, an infrared drone inspection of a wind turbine requires around 3 days of idle operation and a team of three inspectors. That’s a lot of down time to a resource that’s supposed to be producing energy. Not to mention it’s very dangerous to have human inspectors perform “rope” inspections. It’s not just wind turbines either, our thermal camera inspection allows us to quickly and efficiently cover large solar farms; identifying possible manufacturing problems, cracks and any other causes for concern in individual panels.
Should You Consider an Infrared Drone Inspection?
If you oversee operations at a large facility or some form of infrastructure that requires regular inspection, then chances are you will already be very aware of the time and costs involved in keeping it functioning and up to code.
Switching to drone-based inspections can dramatically reduce the time consuming and often labor-intensive processes, which in turn can help to significantly reduce the cost – with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) inspections being between 30-50% less expensive.
Not only does it save time and money, but by using the latest technology like we do here at Crosswind Analytics, we are able to provide in-depth imagery that is far superior to the naked eye. As a certified Level One Thermographer, our infrared thermal heat loss inspections are able to reveal areas of the roof that could be compromised by water damage before they become a serious problem; allowing you to quickly repair that small area rather than needing to replace the entire roof. Being located in Illinois, our services extend nationwide and even globally depending on the job portfolio and requirements.