Imagine if you could see through concrete walls, checking for abnormalities in a structure.
Or picture sending robots out to inspect 300 miles of pipeline and collect real-time data on the integrity of weld points.
UAV technology has turned both of these scenarios into everyday occurrences. Commercially-available drones have the payload capacity to carry a variety of precision sensors into places that humans alone can’t go, to see things that the naked eye cannot detect. Infra-red, LiDAR, HD Video, chemical, radiation, and a variety of other sensors allow an unprecedented view of the world and drones allow unprecedented access. They can show deterioration inside a concrete structure, pressure on a bridge, chemical imbalances in soil, or radiation leaks.
In many industries, there are four Ds – tasks that are Dull, Dirty, Dangerous or Difficult to detect. Rather than send humans into a storm, a collapsed mine shaft, or a chemical spill, engineers can send in a UAV with a variety of sensors to collect and transmit mission critical data in real time.
Drones can fly for hours at a time, providing inspection data on miles of pipeline, railroads, or transmission wires. This eliminates fatigue, boredom, and human error from the data collection process.
By removing humans from the equation, UAV technology mitigates the four Ds to drive the four Es: efficiency, effectiveness, economy, and environmental safety.