Drone Inspections and the Importance of Safety

Drone Inspections are the perfect tool to quickly capture and record data. This data enables companies to plan and execute repairs or take preventative actions.

It is a cost-efficient way of capturing data because it does not require the use of costly equipment or temporary structures like scaffolding to perform the inspections. This also reduces liability insurance costs.


Drone inspections can save a lot of time, money, and effort by eliminating the need to send inspectors into hazardous areas. They are also more accurate than human inspections. In addition, they can provide high-resolution images and video. However, it is important to have safety in mind when conducting drone inspections. This can be achieved through a number of methods. First, companies should train their drone pilots to be familiar with safety protocols and how to avoid hazards. Next, they should have a comprehensive inspection plan. This should include the specific areas that need to be inspected, as well as any obstacles or hazards in the area. Finally, the company should have a team of professionals to analyze the data and identify potential issues.

While drones can be used for a variety of inspections, they are especially useful in confined spaces and other areas that would be unsafe or dangerous for humans to enter. Specialized drones can navigate confined spaces and capture high-resolution images and videos, helping to identify leaks or other problems. This can help reduce downtime and prevent expensive repairs, making it an invaluable tool for industries like oil and gas, chemical processing, and manufacturing.

The most common type of drone inspection is a visual survey. These involve flying a drone over an asset and taking pictures of it from different angles. This helps companies spot any defects, rust or other damage that may need repair. It can also save a lot of money by avoiding the need to build scaffolding or shut down the asset.

In addition, drones can be outfitted with thermal imaging and LiDAR technology, which can improve the accuracy of inspections. These technologies can also be used to monitor weather conditions or other environmental factors that could impact an inspection. Finally, they can be used to create 3D models and digital twins of structures and assets. This can help businesses better understand their assets and make better decisions in the future.

In the past, inspectors might have needed to climb into a boiler to inspect a weld or go several stories up a tower to check for guy wires. These actions put the inspector in danger and can lead to injuries. But using a drone can allow them to access these areas safely from the ground. This allows inspectors to avoid risky situations and ensures that they are protected by their employer’s liability insurance.


Drones are increasingly being used in place of people to perform inspections. They can provide high-resolution images and videos that show cracks, damage, misplaced wires and other issues at elevations and angles that humans cannot reach or maneuver. This can help to minimize risk to human employees and ensure that all parts of infrastructure are inspected.

For example, drones equipped with light detection and ranging (LIDAR) lasers can accurately trace linear power lines with topographic precision to create point cloud models. This data is incredibly valuable and can be used to identify areas where repairs are needed and to estimate the extent of any damage.

This data can also be used to create digital twins and 3D models of a surveyed asset or area. This process is called photogrammetry, and it uses specialist software to stitch together high-resolution images. Although not as millimeter-accurate as LiDAR, this technique can still provide a wealth of information that is valuable for many different applications.

In addition to this, a drone can stream footage in real time. This allows multiple individuals to view the results remotely, which can increase efficiency and improve safety. It can also be used for training purposes. Using this technology, inspectors can monitor their progress and make adjustments to their flight path without having to leave the work site.

Some of the most important inspections are those of industrial structures like boilers, pressure vessels and storage tanks. These structures are often located in dangerous environments and can be difficult to access. For instance, a person could be injured by an accident or exposed to harmful fumes while performing an inspection. However, a drone can safely and easily fly over a structure to capture visuals from all angles.

Another benefit of using drones for inspections is that they can record a long visual paper trail. This data is useful when an incident occurs and a company needs to investigate the cause of a problem or submit reports to regulatory bodies. Having this historical record can also help to prevent future incidents by providing a clear understanding of the conditions at a specific time.


Drones can capture high-resolution images or video from different angles, revealing cracks, corrosion, misplaced wires, and other defects. This information is used to make decisions about maintenance, repairs, and safety issues. This helps companies save money and improve productivity. In addition, drones can provide a paper trail of an inspection, giving companies the ability to track problems from start to finish.

Another advantage of drones is that they can gather data much faster than traditional methods. This is particularly important for large areas, such as agricultural land or power lines. Traditionally, workers would need to cover these areas by foot or car, while equipment had to be set up and taken down repeatedly. This process was time-consuming and labor-intensive, but drones can perform the same work in minutes.

Additionally, drones can be equipped with a variety of sensors to collect more detailed and accurate data. For example, drones can be equipped with LiDAR, which is used to create 3D models of objects and landscapes. This technology is especially useful for power line inspections, as it can detect class 5 damage that can lead to energy losses of up to 8%.

In addition, drones can also be equipped with thermal imaging cameras to identify hot spots and other abnormalities. These cameras can be used in confined spaces, where it is unsafe or impractical to use a ladder. These cameras can also help to identify the location of a leak, allowing the inspector to take action immediately.

Unlike traditional methods, drones allow for visual inspections without exposing the inspector to any risk or discomfort. For example, a drone can be used to inspect an active flare on an oil-gas platform, while production continues unaffected. Drones can also be used to inspect confined spaces, such as boilers at power plants or fuel storage tanks, where access is difficult or dangerous for humans.

Another advantage of drones is that they can be easily reprogrammed to conduct multiple inspections in a short period of time. This allows companies to meet regulatory requirements and deadlines. Moreover, drones can also be used to monitor the status of infrastructure, which is crucial for businesses in a highly competitive environment.


In addition to the cost of drone equipment, operators must also consider the costs of training and licensing. Obtaining a license to fly a drone is easier and less expensive than getting a pilot’s license for a manned aircraft. Drones also use significantly less fuel than manned aircraft, making them more environmentally friendly.

While the cost of drone inspections varies depending on the area, it can be an economical way to monitor a property or industrial facility. For instance, the cost of hiring a professional to climb a ladder and perform an in-person visual inspection can be much higher than the cost of using a drone to conduct the same inspection.

Drones are increasingly being equipped with improved sensors and cameras, including thermal imaging, to provide data that can help identify problems that would otherwise go undetected. This data can be used to plan and prioritize maintenance tasks. In addition, the information from a drone can be easily shared with other technicians or contractors, which can increase efficiency and help avoid costly mistakes.

For example, solar photovoltaic (PV) inspections can be conducted by drones with thermal payloads in a fraction of the time of manual inspections, allowing for a complete site operation to be completed in just a few hours. This reduces costs and increases the overall site yield. In addition, faults that might have been missed during on-foot inspections can be discovered with drones and repaired quickly.

Other industries can benefit from the use of drones in inspections, as well. For example, companies in the chemical industry must inspect their storage containers regularly. Any leak from a poorly maintained container could lead to serious health issues for people in the surrounding area. By using a drone, companies can save on the cost of building time-consuming and expensive scaffolding to access the containers, as well as reduce their liability risks.

A drone can also be used to check the integrity of dams and other large-scale structures. This can be dangerous work for human inspectors, and drones are an excellent solution for capturing high-resolution images without putting lives at risk. They can also capture images of difficult to reach areas, which may not be possible for a human inspector.

Drone Inspections are the perfect tool to quickly capture and record data. This data enables companies to plan and execute repairs or take preventative actions. It is a cost-efficient way of capturing data because it does not require the use of costly equipment or temporary structures like scaffolding to perform the inspections. This also reduces…