Building inspection

Building Inspection and structures

All buildings and structures for various purposes, especially such complex ones as bridges, tunnels, aqueducts, and other infrastructure facilities, need regular building inspection and repair or restoration work.

Traditional building inspection methods involve the use of a significant number of workers and highly qualified engineering specialists, the use of machines and mechanisms. As a rule, carrying out a building inspection, and even more, so repair work, is a rather expensive procedure, often requiring a lot of effort and money, and time-consuming.

Since bridges, tunnels, and other infrastructural structures are related not only to the construction business but also to public safety, this explains the tough approach from the regulatory authorities and the presence of clear industrial standards. The latter is necessary to identify actual or potential threats, malfunctions, damage, or other problems that can lead to degradation of the structure and prohibition of operation. Failure to do so can result in unwanted accidents as well as lengthy, costly legal proceedings resulting from allegations of negligence.

Traditional methods of verifying infrastructure for bridges and tunnels include high-rise platforms or vehicles to inspect under bridges, stairs, or rope access systems. Often, due to inspections of infrastructure facilities using traditional methods, it is necessary to block roads and create inconveniences for citizens. For a variety of reasons, traditional infrastructure verification methods remain costly and unsafe.

Why are drones more efficient building inspection?

For several years now, many companies have been using industrial-grade unmanned systems for infrastructure building inspection. The main advantages of such technologies can be described in a few words:

  • safety,
  • efficiency,
  • profitability.

Drones reduce building inspection time, make the entire process safer for employees, and cut costs for equipment and other essential components. It is also important that the use of drones allows you to avoid blocking highways and often refuse to disconnect power grids or water supply.

In addition, by using unmanned technologies, you can be more flexible in purchasing or renting additional equipment. 

What characteristics of unmanned systems are important for infrastructure inspections?

1. Battery life. Proper building inspection of the infrastructure of bridges and tunnels should be carried out carefully and, if possible, do not interfere with road users and residents of nearby houses. Users expect their industrial drones to be in flight for a significant amount of time (say, 25 minutes or more). 

This time is already almost standard for many modern corporate models. At the same time, you can also increase the flight time due to additional batteries, which is also possible with devices. This solution allows you to expect that building inspection work in the area of ​​a bridge, tunnel, or other structure will be carried out completely and efficiently.

2. A significant distance of effective control. Depending on the building inspection on characteristics of the bridge or tunnel being tested, it is often necessary to use an unmanned system at a considerable distance from the pilot. Therefore, it is very important for users that their drones and control systems for them have all the necessary characteristics that allow them to efficiently perform work and control the UAV at a sufficient distance. Typically, industrial-grade drones from DJI offer a minimum control range of 1 km and a maximum of 7 km on average.

3. Fault-tolerant characteristics. Buying one or more industrial-grade drones can represent a significant cost. Therefore, users wishing to invest in their own autonomous fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles want a reliable system with a whole set of functions that ensure the safety of piloting. These may include automatic flight modes (flight on a given route, flying to points, etc.), warning systems for low battery or signal problems, etc. All these functions and more can be found on DJI industrial drones. In addition, the new models of professional drones have redundant modules that allow aircraft to perform their tasks, even if one of the modules fails.

4. Intelligent modes of autonomous flight. All modern industrial drones receive a set of intelligent flight modes. The aforementioned flight modes along a predetermined route or along specific points on the course allow the pilot not to worry about the device deviating from the route and stopping to perform tasks. These and other modes will help the drone operator focus on infrastructure checks (such as examining a bridge or tunnel) while the drone flies to the desired destination and waypoint on its own.

5. Characteristics and capabilities of overhead equipment. It can be various types and modifications of equipment: digital, thermal, infrared, spectral, and other types of cameras, laser scanners, and radars. Various types of equipment may be required for inspections. As for digital cameras, today DJI can offer a significant number of models with different capabilities: 4K ultra-high-definition, scalable, dual-matrix (visual and thermal), etc. These systems are equipped with DJI’s advanced camera stabilization technology to deliver crisp, stable images regardless of aircraft speed or vibration.