Find aerial survey and in-tank inspection Drone suppliers on the Tank Storage Suppliers Directory, including Miniature UAV, SUAS, Marine drones and remote robotic devices.

Oil and gas production entails the monitoring of the integrity of oil and gas pipelines and related installations. For above-ground pipelines, this monitoring activity can be performed using digital cameras mounted on UAVs. Compared to manned aircraft, UAVs were originally used for missions too “dull, dirty or dangerous” for humans. While they originated mostly in military applications, their use is rapidly expanding to commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications, such as policing, peacekeeping,and surveillance, product deliveries, aerial photography, agriculture, smuggling, and drone racing. Civilian UAVs now vastly outnumber military UAVs, with estimates of over a million sold by 2015, so they can be seen as an early commercial application of autonomous things, to be followed by the autonomous car and home robots. A miniature UAV or small UAV (SUAV) is an unmanned aerial vehicle small enough to be man-portable. Miniature UAVs range from micro air vehicles (MAVs) that can be carried by an infantryman, to man-portable UAVs that can be carried and launched like an infantry man-portable air-defense system. The term is usually applied to those used for military purposes. SUAVs have been given various definitions among national regulation authorities, often without including size precisions and differing about weight measurement specifications.Drone inspection is not just about flying the drones, which is often less than 50% of the work. Drone inspection involves capturing, storing and analysing large quantities of data (high resolution photographs, IR thermal images and videos) that are gathered during a drone flight. The recording and processing of such data collected over time from the same site enables the most efficient ‘machine learning’ to the benefit of the tank terminal manager/operator. Advancements in drone technology are turning the cumbersome maintenance effort into a safer and more streamlined data collection process for implementing maintenance management systems. This also adds value to overall management systems based on ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment), or OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety). Regulations and safety factors require manned systems to fly at higher altitudes and farther from whatever they are looking. Unlike manned aircrafts, the maintenance requirements of drones can be easily met as the equipment is generally commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS). Thus drones offer a cheap and often advantageous alternative to manned flights because of their maneuverability in close spaces, smaller sensors and logistics. Drones are often able to complete traditional inspection tasks at a fraction of the time and cost compared to traditional methods. There are instances where many companies feel constrained to limit the amount of on-site inspections performed due to traditional cost of truck rolls, crane movements, PPE, safety SOPs for climbing and so on. For example, identifying defective tank roofs with moisture can be a time consuming and costly activity. Drones fitted with thermal imaging cameras can do a quick fly-over while taking infrared thermal images of the roofs. The ways in which drones can help eliminate costs on construction, monitoring and reconnaissance activities can vary from simple assess DRONE INSPECTION: A TIMEQUALITY-MONEY SOLUTION The use of drones are revolutionising oil and gas tank inspection by offering a more long-term and sustainable option compared to traditional methods. Specifically, by performing site inspections, drones are able to considerably cut down on costs compared to previous methods, making their deployment a long-lasting and sustainable option. ACQUIRING DATA Using professional UAV inspection services, a manager can reduce the time that inspection personnel need to spend on the asset itself. Provided a mission’s flight route has been well planned, a drone can collect imagery data that covers the entire building envelope in a fraction of the time that it takes for inspection personnel to traverse it. Typically, visual and thermal imagery are collected. LONGWAVE VS. HANDHELD MID-WAVE IR CAMERAS Typically, a roof-inspection company might use a MWIR (mid-wave infrared) handheld camera or a LWIR (long-wave infrared) unit to collect data using an airborne platform. The advantages and disadvantages to the agency undertaking the roof inspection and the customer need to be assessed in terms of the sensor technical characteristics and the implementation implications. Handheld MWIR can increase sensitivity among reflective/cool roofs and increased scaling values in output images can make results easier to interpret. However, the reduced dynamic range the cameras have could mean reduced sensitivity across all material types. On the other hand, using drone-mounted longwave IR provides a high dynamic range that leads to increased sensitivity across dark, cooled roof structures. In terms of implementation, drone-mounted LWIR does not require inspection personnel to walk on a roof. The entire building envelope, including hard-to-reach areas can be imaged. Thermal ghosting (or leakage) is minimised by a high straight-on view of a roof by a camera. A complete, geo-referenced report can be quickly provided to the client. Drones, equipped with a combination of sensors, are revolutionising oil and gas inspections. At the moment, drones with thermal imaging, photo, and video cameras, as well as gas sniffers and other sensors, are performing a variety of inspection functions. The mobility and sensors allow the drones to analyse facilities for existing and potential defects safely, quickly, and efficiently.

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