Security Business

JUL 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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July 2019 / / Security Business 37 ing project, industrial development or resort or planned community. Drone imagery gives the contractor a quick and accurate record of the actual surface at the start of construction to compare with the plans used in the bid documents. It saves time, money, and materials to know about problems early in the process; also it makes progress payments more easily justified, providing imagery to prove progress. As for project management, drone images mean that each step can be evaluated and improved, progress tracked, and options considered, using pre- and post-construction imagery. As reported in the October Security Business article, LiDAR vs Radar Toe-to-Toe (, LiDAR-based 3D imagery offers impressive features that the construction market can leverage when used by a drone, including: • Progress monitoring – A birds-eye view to see where the project is at. Staging, related to the current progress of the project, is better shown with pictures then sketches on plans; • Asset management, including the location of trucks and cranes (crane position is also important, as there have been many crane accidents of late); and • Volumetrics, the secret of success to drone services in construction – it contributes directly to value engineering and significant cost savings, answering questions such as how much dirt is needed to fill a hole, or how much gravel is left in a pile. Inspections: While roof inspections via drone involve the visual search for leaks, proper flashing, and the condition of the shingles and chimney, it is a thermal inspection that may prove to be the most meaningful. Whether it is on a home or commercial property, roof thermography is done when there is little or no solar load on the roof. What used to take days to find heat loss or air conditioning inefficiency can be done with a thermal imaging- equipped drone in hours; however, flying after sunset may require a special waiver. Also, flying at a height to get the whole roof will most likely not be close enough to view details. A trending use is the detection of photovoltaic (PV) panels about to fail. In the January issue of Security Business, I reported on the often rapid decrease of PV panel output after the 10th year (10 Technology Game-Changers for 2019, A normal operating PV panel has a heat signature that increases prior to failure. For a solar farm that has millions of PV modules, UAVs fitted with high-resolution thermal-imaging equipment can fly over the facility and quickly detect the panels that are about to fail. Beyond regular maintenance; drone inspection can confirm proper installation of roof materials during construction. The cost of inspection can often be included in the project price, so almost all new construction is a drone inspection business opportunity. Wind and solar farms also require a great deal of inspection for maintenance. Turbines are complex, and technicians cover everything from the tip of the turbine blade to the tower that supports the nacelles. By using a UAV for these inspections, there is no need to place personnel in dangerous positions requiring high-lift buckets, slings and climbing harnesses. Additionally, indoor drone inspections have become an enormous ROI booster for breweries, grain harvesters, coal plants and energy companies who own and operate industrial assets. Indoor inspection drones are not subject to FAA or airspace requirements. There is zero or limited GPS inside a building, under a vehicle bridge or inside a tank, so the inspection drone relies on lasers and sensors to produce a flight path and remain stable. Outdoor drones look down; indoor drones have a forward- or upward-looking camera to inspect welding, a stack or a boiler and often have a protective cage around it. Meant to go inside tight spaces, they have LED lighting at various angles. If you put the lights in the same direction as camera, cement dust or coal dust will reflect back to the imager. Pitting, cracks, corrosion can be automatically detected; in fact, tank inspections can be performed within 10 seconds, thus reducing the flight time for a single drone run. While there are many anti-drone technologies, drone manufacturers and suppliers were also in attendance at ISC West 2019. Photo: Paul Rothman

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