Drone Inspections make difficult to access areas, accessible.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or commonly known as drones are an excellent platform to conduct inspections in difficult to access areas. Used effectively, drone inspection can provide a critical understanding of your asset's condition and an assessment of its functionality – quickly, affordably and safely.
Internal Drone Inspections
Internal drone inspections utilise lightweight impact tolerant drones with specialist lightweight cages designed to protect the camera and airframe. These cages allow the drones to be flown in tight spaces without sustaining damage.
With the ability to enter confined spaces, internal drone inspections reduce or eliminate the need for personnel to also enter these confined spaces. These drones are ideal for the visual inspection of:
- Interior of tanks
- Pressure vessels
- Large bore piping
- Other GPS-denied environments
External Drone Inspections
External drone inspections utilise robust airframes capable of a flight time in excess of 24 minutes, along with ability to adapt to wind conditions whilst carrying and stabilising a suitable inspection payload.
These types of external drones are used for inspecting difficult to access areas such as:
- Large structures
- External tank inspections
- Areas at height
- Flare stacks
Applications of Drone Inspections
The application of drone technology is constantly pushing new boundaries. Applications where ALS has significant experience include:
- Tank inspections
- Bin and hopper inspections
- Stack inspections, even while online
- Burner inspections
- Boiler inspections
- Underground inspections of tunnels and pipe networks
- Refractory inspections
- Gas duct inspections
Drone inspection can detect:
- Missing items such as bolts
- Hot areas (Thermography)
Advantages of Drone Inspections
The benefit of drone inspection lies in its reduced cost, as the need for expensive scaffolding and staging is eliminated. Drone inspections also eliminate operational downtime as the shutdown of equipment or the plant is not required for inspection.
High risk activities, such as working at heights and within confined spaces, are also eliminated with drone inspection.
The ALS Approach
ALS have multiskilled pilots who are certified to the relevant local laws and regulations required to fly drones commercially and have broad experience in a range of different industries. ALS know conducting inspections is different across every industry, so if required, we can provide a specialised inspector or engineer to accompany and report on the inspection.
ALS’s has a fleet of drones which specialise with different inspections and applications.
For internal inspections, our pilots use the Flyability Elios 2 which features a 4k camera, 10k lumen lighting and an unobstructed view from the cage, or Elios 1 which has a unique rolling cage specialising it for tight environments.
For external inspections, our pilots primarily use DJI Matrice 210 or Matrice 600 drones which are robust flying units capable of carrying different payloads, such as Thermography cameras and laser scanners, as well as the standard high-resolution cameras used for both still shots and video.