Conventional inspection and maintenance methods tend to be time-consuming and are often fraught with risk.
With the BLADESCAPE-approach, difficult-to-access areas or plants that are spread over a wide area can be inspected with high efficiency without risk to personnel. The information collected is recorded live, securely documented and analysed in a semi-automated process. Our motto is ‘SEE TO FORESEE’.
The number of wind farms has increased rapidly in recent years.
The rotor blades in particular are exposed to enormous stresses and risk damage by erosion as well as lightning strikes. The average diameter of the rotors is around 100 m, which means that routine or ad hoc inspections, damage assessment and repair planning can be costly.
Using drones, inspections can be carried out quickly, simply and at low cost.
Proper surveillance needs to be maintained to guarantee security (Predictive Maintenance).
Any damage needs to be detected early enough to avoid outages or to reduce the duration of any outages that do occur.
The use of drones, often supported by thermal imaging cameras helps save both time and money. This way, leaks can be identified and located, and the condition of pipework systems in inaccessible areas can be rapidly checked. Our detailed, virtual 3d models (in the sub-millimetre range) as a basis for testing work make this activity highly efficient.
Photovoltaics are almost the ideal example of an application for autonomous air vehicles. When fitted with thermal imaging cameras, they can quickly identify any ‘hot spots’; soiling or damage to the modules, for example, can easily be identified with RGB cameras. Thermographic screening in combination with 3D visualisation provides valuable information for the operator. BLADESCAPE develops data analysis methods for largely automated operation and predictive maintenance of PV power plants.
Since these installations are usually spread over a large area, long-range UAV/drones are particularly well-suited for inspecting pipelines. Above ground as well as underground (gas pipelines). The systems of our choice are long-endurance drones, especially (VTOL) fixed-wing UAV.
High-voltage power lines
Both masts and cables are constantly subjected to weather and other external influences. Regular inspection is therefore indispensable and, in the event of damage, a great deal of time can be lost when using conventional methods. The use of drones enables rapid checks to be carried out following lightning strikes, mud slides and power outages. However, unmanned aerial vehicles are also an efficient way of carrying out general inspections of insulators and detecting birds’ nests without posing any risk to personnel or switching off the power to the cables.
Bridges and dams
Most conventional methods of inspection are very costly, fraught with risk and not exactly repeatable.
Difficult-to-access areas can be safely inspected using drones and with a high degree of efficiency. The ground resolution is in the sub-millimetre range (down to 0,3mm GSD).
Compared to conventional methods, the inspection of protection systems in alpine terrain by uav is significantly more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and without risk to life and limb.
The inspection of the condition of rivers, water management facilities and dikes is not efficient by means of conventional methods (on foot). Heavy vegetation prevents a quick and sufficient assessment of the condition. BLADESCAPE uses 360-degree cameras as well as long-endurance flights with FPV (First-person-view) equipment. This, in combination with the precise location of video data and the developed product for visualisation in GIS systems, makes a watercourse survey highly interesting for the authorities entrusted with it.
Buildings/structures (churches, towers, chimneys, transmitters)
The façades and structures of buildings are affected by external influences (erosion, weather, etc.), which can lead to damage. Industrial climbers or other costly and risky methods are often used to carry out inspections.
Using UAVs, any internal and external damage or alterations are documented in full, thus providing a sound basis for targeted restoration measures.