How to Perform Thermal Inspections in DroneDeploy

November 19, 2019


In our last How To piece about inspections, we highlighted some of the challenges workers face while performing inspections: constructing inspection scaffolding can be expensive, inspecting buildings can be dangerous at such great heights, and inspecting hundreds of wellheads can be time-consuming. But sometimes the dangers of construction go beyond heights.

Take, for example, the oil & gas industry: flare stacks are used for burning off unusable waste gas across a variety of production applications. This type of technology is highly pressurized and can be combustible, which requires frequent inspections. In order to manually inspect these flare stacks, production needs to be entirely shut down in order to safely send a worker on-site.

Performing thermal inspections with DroneDeploy now enables companies to perform in-depth inspections without shutting down production or putting workers in danger. These thermal inspections also allow them to catch issues as soon as possible, which, in the oil & gas industry, the difference between catching a leak in a minute as compared to an hour is paramount.

Let’s take a look at how to perform thermal inspections using DroneDeploy.


In order to effectively capture any issues that may need fixing, you will need to create an interactive thermal view of your site, including high-resolution imagery for remote issue identification, diagnosis, and resolution. In order to do this, you’ll need to use the DroneDeploy mobile app to autonomously or manually fly your site, while also using a drone that captures thermal imagery.

From there, you’ll gather real-time thermal insights with Thermal Live Map, producing data on your mobile device as the drone flies, even offline. The DroneDeploy flight app automatically scans sites and facilities for optimal coverage helping you capture and manage what the naked eye can’t see.


Capture & Process

DroneDeploy will recreate the reality of your job site, allowing you to analyze the site remotely.  DroneDeploy will even process both RGB and thermal images simultaneously to create high-resolution thermal 3D models, garnering a more detailed analysis.

After the data capture, you can generate annotated reports, providing the location and severity of every issue detected on your map. By beginning incident response remotely with secure access to up-to-date 3D models, you will have peace of mind knowing resolutions will occur quickly and efficiently.


Inspect & Act

Performing thermal inspections provides seemingly endless use cases. You can analyze Radiometric Thermal data in the DroneDeploy platform using highly accurate thermal visualizations. This allows you to easily find hotspots for spot temperature inspection

through multiple color palettes. From there, you can share damage and anomaly reports with your team and stakeholders.

Insurance companies can use thermal analysis to detect leaks or water erosion on roofs. The same can be said for property managers managing large buildings, condos, warehouses, or apartment complexes.


After performing thermal inspections, DroneDeploy will stitch together a 2D and 3D map, allowing you to catch issues and anomalies faster. Companies such as Brasfield & Gorrie and Bruin E&P have found success using Thermal Live Map in inspections to catch issues early while keeping their teams safer.

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