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INFRASTRUCTURE INSPECTION

Rain slick Pittsburgh freeway bridges at night.

Rain slick Pittsburgh freeway bridges at night.

One area of growing interest with the use of UAVs is in the area of infrastructure inspection. They can safely, expeditiously, and efficiently perform audits and inspect hard-to-reach areas. Areas of high interest include powerlines, gas lines, rails, cell towers, windmills, roads and bridges. Utility companies can benefit from UAS inspections by obtaining high-definition photo and video data for inspection of their assets. When a storm knocks out power, UAVs can quickly identify the incident point allowing for a quick response. Routine inspection of gas lines can be done more effectively with sensors capable of detecting gas leaks. Cell towers, bridges, and windmills can be inspected in the hard to reach areas mitigating the risk associated with personnel climbing to inspect these assets. UAVs can obtain high definition information and assist with planning pre-emptive maintenance work on rails and roads. We are currently working with several consortiums at FAA test sites to develop capabilities for use in this area.