Our drone inspections services team discusses some of the leading inspection drones and which should be used when. Drone selection is determined largely by the type of inspection. Inspections range from construction site inspections to roofing and energy installation inspections.
As well as the type of inspection, a number of different factors come into play when selecting the right drone. These factors include:
- The site location
- The frequency of inspection. The number of times the drone will be needed
- The weather. Different drones perform better in different conditions.
- The inspection requirements
- The appropriate sensor and system software
- Data security and management
This article highlights the leading drones used for inspections and explores what type of drone caters to what type of inspection.
Not all drones have the same capabilities. Drone inspections require the right equipment to execute the specific job at hand. It is important to identify the correct features to guide what drone to use for the type of inspection required. Here are five major drones used in inspections:
This drone is useful for professional operators working on inspections. It has the following features:
- DJI’s professional Zenmuse camera systems include the Zenmuse XT thermal and the Zenmuse X5 for 3D mapping.
The drone can provide thermal imaging for clients. It is useful in drone inspections such as:
- Solar panel inspections
- Building and drone roof inspections
- Utility and powerline inspections
Greg Drane commented “the bottom line is the DJI Inspire is the best drone you can buy if you can afford it. It delivers raw video capture at an impressive 5.2K, superb build quality, and the very best performance”
The Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced has the following features:
- Thermal and visual sensors
- Up to 32x zoom
- RTK capabilities
- Portable size and weight to access remote locations
- Supports NTRIP making it ideal for powerline inspections. It makes it reliable in areas that have high electromagnetic interference.
- It has self-heating batteries that make it able to operate in cold conditions. It can be as low as -10 Degrees Celsius
- High-resolution camera sensors
- Radiometric thermal camera (HD 640 x 512 px thermal resolution)
According to Greg Drane “The Mavic 2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an entry-level commercial drone. It doesn’t have as many features the as pricier DJI drones nor is it as innovative but it’s a solid buy all the same”
The drone is particularly suited to the construction industry, as it comes with sensors, software, processing, and an application to deliver construction site data. The Matrice Enterprise Drones have the following features:
- Optimized for inspection applications in power lines, bridges, and wind turbines
The drone integrates with third-party sensors like LiDar scanners or customized mobile applications.
Greg said “DJI’s other ranges including the Mavic and the Inspire have always been highly regarded among photographers and cinematographers. For drone inspection companies like Sutro, the Matrice series makes our job 100% more efficient”
4. AceCore Zoe
This drone is designed for easy transportation and exceptional flight times of up to 40 minutes.
The drone is incredibly adaptable to specific projects. Features include:
- Works with payloads of up to 6.5kg.
- Operates in wind gusts of up to 35 knots
- Has an optional parachute kit which acts as a fail-safe measure in case of emergencies
It is suited to inspections that require longer flight times. Common inspections that it is used for include:
- Aerial surveying
- Land mapping
- Live broadcasting
- Infrastructure inspection
The Lockheed Indago originated in the military and has been adapted for civilian use. The advanced military drone technology means that it is useful in:
- Fire fighting
- First response
- Energy installation inspections such as in oil refineries
The drone can capture clear and detailed images from 300 feet away and can be used in all weather conditions.
Speak to our drone inspection services team about the requirements for your project today.