Last update: Jan 13, 2017
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), sometimes also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are simply any aircraft that does not have a human pilot. While in many contexts they are commonly referred to as drones, due to the negative connotations of that word most people who use them in a commercial setting prefer to call them either UAV or UAS.
UAS have a range of uses in variety of fields including recreational, commercial, or military purposes. It’s important to note though that in the United States, all aerial vehicles, manned or not, are governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All non-recreational, civil aircraft operations in the country must comply with FAA regulations.
While they can be used for several different types of inspection, UAS are primarily used for visual inspection. They tend to be equipped with incredibly high resolution cameras, which allow them to get a close up, accurate view of a structure, even from a great distance.
They can be used to inspect nearly any structure, both indoors and outdoors, but they are most useful in the inspection of structures that are difficult to reach by traditional means. This can include tall structures, such as flare stacks, elevated pipe trays, and cooling towers. It can include confined spaces in which space is limited for traditional inspections. It can also include structures that are over water such as bridges or the undersides of oil rig platforms.
Compared to traditional inspection, the use of UAS is cheaper, faster, and safer than traditional methods. For example, when inspecting flare stacks, traditional inspection is incredibly difficult and time consuming. UAS can inspect the stack in less than an hour, without requiring shutdown, the construction of scaffolding, or sending inspectors into dangerous situations.
Recommend changes or revisions to this definition.
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Joey Johnston at DronePro, LLC
In the first quarter of 2016, Texas-based DronePro LLC completed the first ever inside-the-derrick inspection of an offshore drilling rig utilizing a proprietary unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone, with its associated technology and equipment.
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
This article is intended to provide some helpful insights when it comes to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), and to hopefully put you on the path to safer and more cost-effective inspections utilizing UAS technologies.
May 26, 2015
These are interesting times when it comes to inspection technology in the process industries. With the advent of big data, mobile and wireless technology, and various other technological advances, we thought it would be a good idea to provide a recap on some of the new technologies that have been covered in Inspectioneering Journal.
AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.
May 11, 2015 By Nick Harwood at Aetos Group
Last Wednesday the FAA announced an initiative to allow three additional commercial drone applications; applications that will bring big value to the Oil and Gas and Petrochemical industries. Today, drone operators must have a Section 333 Exemption from the FAA to conduct commercial operations in the United States.
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
The ability to gain this unique perspective has recently become easier and safer with today’s technological advancements. This new technology comes in the form of a miniature flying machine, better known as a drone or small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS). These systems can be a modified hobby aircraft or highly reliable, military grade aerial robots.
March 23, 2015
Lately, I’ve heard quite a bit of discussion surrounding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones. (However, due to the negative connotations associated with the word drone, we’ve learned that people in the business prefer using UAV)
January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jason C. Shankle at United Dynamics Corporation
UAS (Unmanned Arial System) drone technology has numerous applications, including anything at elevated heights or where human access and/or occupancy are prohibited, or in the case of confined spaces, limited.