UAV's have came a long way, helping capture aerial images to perform a variety of tasks in a faster, cheaper and safer way. Automation has played a key role and helped cut inspection costs by as much as 50%. Moreover, cell tower inspection via drone would enable minimal risk and guarantee high-quality reproducible results. The savings are evident as compared to the traditional inspections method. This kind of workflow is cost-effective and the workflow of each step depends on the quality of the result in the previous step.
When it comes to gathering the information drones have proven to be the best alternative to the satellites. The question is whether to use both or one to perform the specific task. Various satellite companies are imaging the entire globe every single day and make use of the gathered data. A large amount of data to be gathered quickly should be done via satellites. Drones help scaling up the data quickly and efficiently.
H3 Dynamics has partnered with Curitiba-based EPH Engineering in Brazil, a firm that specializes in hydropower design, dam inspections and safety plans, to launch a turnkey dam inspection solution that combines AI-enabled damage assessment and HYCOPTER fuel cell drones capable of flying 3.5 hours at a time. With over 5,000 dams submitted to the Brazilian Dam Safety Plan, and two recent collapse incidents causing more than 300 deaths and major environmental damage, Brazilian authorities have tightened inspection and upkeep requirements in the country. "Many accident reports show that problems were not detected by instrumentation but by visual observation. Drones can help, but due to the large dimensions of these structures we need much longer flight times." Some of the dams are so large that they would require months of battery-powered drone flights to fully scan their surfaces.
US-headquartered AirFusion launched its first product, a drone-based data analytics tool for power and telecom companies. Now, the firm also operates a windfarm inspection business and is currently developing a new inspection system for high-voltage power transmission lines. AirFusion mentions that they focus both on drone and AI and has developed a system that it says can cross-correlate the data gathered by multiple drone-mounted sensors with a database of potential wind turbine damage cues. Chief Strategy Officer Kelwin Wells says, "Autonomous AI seeks to take the human being out of the equation altogether while assistive AI aims to remove the bulk of the time a human would need to spend doing damage discovery and classification." "AI element of AirFusion's software is crucial to the company's goal of making the analyst's work 95% more efficient," says Edward Mier, Managing Director for Europe.