Why Use Drones to Inspect Telco Towers
Currently, the inspection of mobile phone towers all over Australia is still very much a manual process. With highly qualified and expensive workers climbing towers and putting their lives in danger. This is often a very time consuming process and more often then There is only a small percentage of asset managers utilising the benefits of drones to do the dirty work which would result in a safe, fast and affordable process with amazing results.
● Safety. Putting a machine in the air is obviously much safer than putting a human at height. This alone is a great reason to utilise unmanned aerial vehicles for telecommunications tower inspections.
● Speed. A drone is capable of completing the inspection much quicker than a person ever could. Putting the drone in optimal position is far easier and moves much quicker.
● Thoroughness. The sheer amount of data that can be captured of a tower and its components is incredible. Getting into positions that are not possible by a person and delivering a complete data set of the asset without any gaps in knowledge. There will never be any circumstances in where something was missed. This also extends to reporting in which a drone can create a 3D model of the mobile tower which allows for much more thorough analysis due to the increase in context.
● Cost. Liability insurance is very expensive and so are the costs involved with training workers to do a manual mobile phone tower inspection, not to mention the considerable amount of time required to complete the inspections. Since drones are faster and less of a concern in terms of liability, the insurance costs are much lower.
● Identifying Hazards. When it is necessary for someone to climb a tower to make repairs, identifying hazards such as damaged infrastructure, beehives and bird nests is crucial. It can be dangerous to the worker and also to the animals. In some cases, the bird could be endangered, and disturbing its nest could affect the chance of its survival. With a drone, these issues are eliminated.
● Identifying environmental or other hazards before climbing (bee, birds, structural damage, etc.)
● Identifying the types of components and their bearing on a tower for records and planning for the future. Cable part numbers and small details can also be acquired
● Routine inspections to identify damaged areas
● Pre-work inspection to determine the tools and parts needed ahead of a climb, to avoid time wasted returning to the ground to find the right tool
● In the case of a structural emergency, you can investigate the structure’s integrity before you climb, and find out if it’s safe to climb at all