The most interesting applications of drones

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The smog-fighting drone can also create an air pollution map for the entire city. The drone flies along the route at a low and constant altitude collecting samples that are associated with the coordinates. After landing, the data is ripped and processed, which allows you to generate an air pollution map. The map can be uploaded to the geoportal and shared via a link.

Another functionality of the smog drone is the ability to detect temperature inversion, which is one of the factors contributing to the occurrence of the SMOG phenomenon. To this end, the drone rises to a height of 200 meters, measuring the temperature every 5 meters.

Thanks to this, it is possible to develop a vertical temperature gradient and determine whether there is a temperature inversion layer on a given day, i.e. a state where the temperature rises instead of falling with altitude. Inversion inhibits air rising – this creates a natural barrier against smoke from chimneys and other pollutants. Early detection of the inversion phenomenon makes it possible to announce a smog alarm, which may save residents from the effects of inhaling air with a high concentration of toxic compounds.

Air inspections – drones perform energy inspections of industrial facilities, wind farms, low and high voltage lines, and also participate in the construction of overhead power lines. A drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera is used to search for Hot Spots in the power installation. Hot Spot is a place with increased temperature – it can occur, for example, due to the arrangement of the cable, a decrease in the diameter of the cable cross-section causes a local increase in temperature, which can be detected with a thermal imaging camera.

Drones equipped with daylight cameras with high optical zoom are used to inspect the technical condition of the network. They can be used to check the condition of the instrumentation: bridges, connectors, insulators, truss. You can also check the condition of the paint coating or corrosion of the column. Drones with daylight cameras are also used during the commissioning of newly built installations.

The market also offers unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with laser scanners.

Such equipment allows you to do the so-called Point clouds that virtually reproduce the shape of the terrain and all objects over which the plane has flown. Each of the recorded points has XYZ coordinates, which are characterized by great accuracy – in the case of the best scanners, the errors are less than 50 mm in relation to the actual location of the scanned object

A point cloud made with a laser carries a lot of information. First, you can easily find collisions with other objects – e.g. tree branches that grow into power lines. This is a dangerous phenomenon because it can lead to a short circuit and shutdown of the installation, and in extreme cases, it may cause an electric shock. The laser scanner can register the power with which the laser beam reflected from a given object.

The laser will reflect differently from leaves, branches, metal, water, asphalt, etc. Good scanners can even distinguish dry from wet branches and even detect corrosion in the paint coating (rust scatters light more than paint). All this information allows for the classification of the point cloud and its subsequent analysis in an automated manner.

Point cloud analysis consists in assigning an appropriate class to individual objects. The most commonly used classes are: high vegetation, medium vegetation, low vegetation, buildings, roads, pipes, poles, water, ground (elevation). Automatic classification is an introduction to further analysis or the design stage of new investments.

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