What is an Autonomous Inspection?
Takeoff and Landing
Once the operator turns on the drone and pushes “go”, the drone takes off on its own and locates the wind turbine. Once the inspection is complete, the drone flies back to its starting point, lands, and turns off.
After the drone has located the wind turbine, it flies to the top of the tower to get a view of all three blades. It automatically identifies where the blades are positioned and then comes up with the most efficient path. This is not a pre-programmed route, and doesn’t depend on the make and model, rotor diameter, tower height, or location.
An autonomous drone follows the optimal path that it has determined from the initial flight, taking pictures at precise locations with a set percentage overlap between pictures. This ensures that every surface is completely covered by the end of the inspection.
Some inspection companies will tell you the number of megapixels in which their camera shoots. This number is irrelevant if you don’t know distance from the blade. A smaller megapixel camera a few meters from the blade will produce a better picture than a large megapixel camera flown from 20 meters away. What matters is whether you can see a crack that is 2 millimeters wide. With SkySpecs, you can.
Image & Light Settings
One big challenge with inspections using any method is the lighting.
SkySpecs’ automated drone solution is able to fly very close to the blade while precisely controlling the camera settings. By controlling these settings in each picture and being within a few meters of the blade, SkySpecs’ drone captures extremely crisp, high quality pictures that capture the texture of the blade and all surface features even in low light conditions.