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Tower Inspection Using Drones: PROS & CONS (2022 Updated)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: November 8, 2022

In the past, tower inspection was a time-consuming and dangerous job requiring workers to climb heights. Drones are increasingly becoming a popular tool for tower inspection due to their many advantages over traditional methods.

They can provide a comprehensive view of the structure, inspect hard-to-reach areas, and do so quickly and safely. This guide will provide an overview of the process of conducting a tower inspection using drones from start to finish.

Uses of Drone In Tower Inspection

Tower Inspection Using Drone

Drones can be used to inspect a variety of structures, including cell phone towers, wind turbines, bridges, and more. They offer a safe and efficient way to gather data and conduct inspections. Drones can provide a comprehensive view of the structure.

They can also access hard-to-reach areas, such as the tops of towers, that would be difficult or dangerous for a human to access. Drone tower inspections offer many advantages over traditional methods.

Drones offer many advantages over traditional inspection methods, such as ladders or cherry pickers. They can inspect the structure more thoroughly and quickly. They can also do so safely without putting workers at risk of injury.

READ: Drones Without Propellers: Mechanism, Pros & Cons

Regular Inspection

It is important to regularly inspect structures, such as towers, to ensure that they are safe and in good repair. Drones can help make this process more efficient.

They can also help to identify potential problems before they become serious. Using drones for inspection can help reduce the amount of time and money required for inspection.

Pre-construction Inspection

Before construction begins on a new structure, it is important to inspect the site. This helps to ensure that the construction process will go smoothly and that there are no potential problems with the site.

Drones can be used to conduct pre-construction inspections. This can help to identify any potential hazards on the site.

Damage Evaluation

If a structure is damaged, it is important to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. Drones can be used to conduct a damage assessment.

They can provide a comprehensive view of the damage. This can help determine the damage's extent and what needs to be done to repair it.

Risk Assessment

When conducting an inspection, it is important to assess the risks involved. Drones can help to identify potential hazards. They can also help to assess the risks associated with working at height.

This information can be used to develop a safety plan for the workers. The use of drones can help to reduce the risks associated with tower inspection.

READ: Drone Photography Prices in 2022 | Pricing Table Included

Why should you use a drone?

Tower Inspection Using Drone

There are many reasons to use a drone for tower inspection. Drones offer a safe and efficient way to inspect a structure. They can provide a comprehensive view of the structure. They can also access hard-to-reach areas.

Using drones for tower inspection can help reduce the amount of time and money required for inspection. It can also help to identify potential problems before they become serious.

Faster

Drones can inspect a structure much more quickly than a human can. This is due to their ability to fly and their ability to access hard-to-reach areas. Drones can often cover the same amount of ground in a fraction of the time it would take a human inspector.

Comprehensive Inspection

Drones can provide a comprehensive view of the structure. They can fly around the entire structure and get a close look at all sides. This allows them to identify potential problems that a human inspector might miss.

Safer

Drones are much safer than traditional methods, such as ladders or cherry pickers. They can inspect without putting workers at risk of injury.

Reduce costs

Using drones for tower inspection can help reduce inspection costs. Drones are often cheaper to operate than traditional methods. They can also help to reduce the amount of time that is required for the inspection. This can help to save money on labor costs.

More accurate data

Drones can collect accurate data about the condition of the structure. This information can be used to assess the damage and determine the best course of action.

Easier to use

Drones are easy to use and require minimal training. A single person can operate them. This makes them ideal for use in tower inspection.

READ: Best Guide To All Types Of Drones & Their Uses

Considerations of Hardware during Tower Inspection Using Drone

Tower Inspection Using Drone

When conducting a drone tower inspection, there are a few hardware considerations that need to be taken into account.

Stability in Flight

The drone needs to be stable in flight. This is important to ensure that the camera can see the structure clearly. This can be achieved by using a drone with gimbal stabilization. It is also important to make sure that the propellers are well-balanced.

Avoiding Stumbling blocks

The drone needs to be able to avoid obstacles. This is important to prevent the drone from crashing into the structure. This can be achieved by using a drone with obstacle avoidance. It is also important to make sure that the drone has a good flight path.

Wind Resistance

The drone needs to be able to fly in windy conditions. This is important to prevent the drone from being blown away. The drone should be able to fly at wind speeds of up to 30 mph.

Data Storage

The drone needs to have good data storage. This is important to ensure that the data can be stored and accessed quickly and easily. It is also important to make sure that the data can be easily backed up.

Interchangeable Payload

The drone needs to have an interchangeable payload. This is important to ensure that the drone can be equipped with different payloads for different tasks. For example, a drone might be equipped with a camera for taking pictures and a thermal sensor for detecting heat sources.

Time between charges

The drone needs to have a short time between charges. This is important to ensure that the drone can be used for multiple inspections in a day. The drone should have a recharge time of less than 1 hour. The drone also needs to have long battery life.

This is important to ensure that the drone can stay in the air for the entire inspection. The drone should have a flight time of at least 30 minutes.

Technology for Stable Transmission

The drone needs good technology for stable data transmission and live video transmission. This is important to ensure that the data can be transmitted quickly and easily. The drone should have a transmission range of at least 1 mile. The drone should also be able to transmit data and live video in HD quality.

READ: 10 Best Tips For Real Estate Footage with Drones

Appropriate Software

Tower Inspection Using Drone

There are a few software considerations that need to be taken into account when conducting a drone tower inspection. The drone should be equipped with mapping software. This is important to create a map of the area.

The mapping software should be able to create a 3D map of the area. The drone should also be equipped with video editing software. This is important for editing the video footage. The video editing software should be able to create a timelapse of the inspection.

Some of the recommended software for conducting a drone tower inspection include:

Pix4D

Pix4D is a drone mapping software that can be used to create a 3D map of the area. It is available for both Windows and Mac. It has features like flight planning, camera control, and video editing.

It is one of the most popular drone mapping software. It has a free trial period of 14 days. The price for the software starts at $179 per year.

DroneDeploy

The DroneDeploy software is a cloud-based drone mapping software. It is available for both Windows and Mac. Its features include flight planning, camera control, and video editing. It has a free trial period of 14 days.

The price for the software starts at $99 per month. The software is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. It is the preferred software for conducting a drone tower inspection.

Skyward

Skyward is a cloud-based drone management software. It is available for both Windows and Mac. It has features like flight planning, camera control, and video editing.

It is also easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. It has a free trial period of 14 days. The price for the software starts at $99 per month.

Aloft

Aloft is a cloud-based drone management software. It is available for both Windows and Mac. It has features like flight planning, camera control, and video editing.

It has a free trial period of 14 days. The price for the software starts at $99 per month. While it is easy to use, the interface is not as user-friendly as DroneDeploy and Skyward.

READ: 30 Major Pros and Cons of Drones

Hazards and Difficulties

Tower Inspection Using Drone

A few hazards and difficulties need to be considered when conducting a drone tower inspection.

Interference due to electromagnetic fields

The drone might experience interference due to the electromagnetic fields around the tower. This can be a hazard as it can cause the drone to lose control and crash.

Hence, it is important to be aware of this hazard and take precautions. One way to take precautions is to avoid flying the drone near power lines.

Visibility Issues

The drone might have visibility issues when flying near the tower. This can be difficult as it can make it hard to see the drone. Hence, it is important to be aware of this difficulty and take precautions.

One way to take precautions is to fly the drone in good weather conditions with good visibility. The other way to take precautions is to use the First Person View (FPV) mode.

Guy Lines

The drone might get tangled in the guy lines of the tower. This can be a hazard as it can cause the drone to crash. Hence, it is important to be aware of this hazard and take precautions.

One way to take precautions is to avoid flying near the guy's lines. The other way to take precautions is to use the Obstacle Avoidance feature.

Windy Conditions

Windy conditions can be difficult, making it hard to control the drone. Hence, it is important to be aware of this difficulty and take precautions.

One way to take precautions is to fly the drone in good weather conditions with little or no wind. The other way to take precautions is to use the Flight Assistance features like GPS Hold and Altitude Hold.

Restricted Airspace

The area around the tower might be restricted airspace. This can be a difficulty as it can make it hard to fly the drone. Hence, it is important to be aware of this difficulty and take precautions. The best way to take precautions is to check the airspace before flying. Another way to take precautions is to use the Follow Me feature.

READ: New Drone Laws In The USA In 2022 | All You Need To Know

Conclusion

Drones are powerful tools that can be used for tower inspection. When used correctly, they can save time and money while providing a safe way to inspect hard-to-reach areas. Drones can be invaluable to any business or organization with proper training and safety precautions.

When it comes to tower inspection, drones offer several advantages over traditional methods. First and foremost, they are much safer. There is no need for workers to climb to great heights or put themselves in dangerous positions.

Second, they are more efficient. Drones can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time, meaning that inspections can be carried out more quickly and with less disruption. Finally, they are more cost-effective.

Thanks for Reading!

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Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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