Inspectioneering Journal

Unlocking the Digital World Through the Power of Drone Data

By Patrick Saracco, Sales Director at Cyberhawk. This article appears in the May/June 2019 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have grown to become a critical part of the inspection toolkit, bringing major efficiencies to asset integrity management programs. Used to conduct general visual inspections (GVI), close visual inspections (CVI), and thermographic inspections at both onshore and offshore facilities, they bring most benefit in hard-to-reach, live areas such as flares, tanks, underdecks, risers, chimneys, and cooling towers.

UAV inspection avoids sending personnel into high, hazardous areas and spending lengthy periods of time in confined spaces thus lowering the risks associated with the job, too. Cost savings can reach seven figures thanks to faster inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns. Importantly, these efficiencies are not to the detriment of data quality, thanks to camera payloads able to pick up even the smallest defect, for example a hairline crack inside a tank.

Figure 1. A hairline crack identified during an internal tank inspection.
Figure 1. A hairline crack identified during an internal tank inspection.

During a typical work scope, UAVs collect hundreds of gigabytes of imagery and video footage, which can then be analyzed and used to create condition-based inspection reports. This use case, however, merely scratches the surface of the true potential of this visual data. Advancements in data management have unlocked ways to generate even further efficiencies and the ability to glean more value from the data.

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by Sushi Hsu on July 8, 2019
That is a wonderful inspection kits. Have any... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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