Safer, Faster, More Information Ways to Inspect Critical Infrastructure

If your organisation owns or manages critical assets in hard to reach locations, you need to maintain a constant and regular inspection routine to ensure early detection of possible faults, accidental damage and any other situations that may cause service interruptions or risk. Traditional methods of conducting infrastructure inspections in remote and difficult locations typically involve helicopters, ziplines, cranes and other expensive equipment, or sending your staff into dangerous areas. 

These inspections represent a significant proportion of annual operating costs which can be streamlined using aerial asset management inspections. Drone-based infrastructure imaging removes most of the complexity and safety risks from critical infrastructure inspection. Aerial asset inspection using drones is faster, much safer and more economical, without compromising the outcomes.

Queensland Drones provides aerial asset inspection services for energy companies, telecommunications companies, water supply companies, forestry companies, local governments and anyone who needs safe, fast inspection of critical infrastructure and assets in difficult locations.

Dam spillway damage

High resolution aerial photography clearly shows areas of deterioration in this water course

The image above shows the spillway of a water supply reservoir supplying critical drinking water to a residential area. Inspections like this can reveal cracking of the concrete, shifting of spillway sections due to ground movement, chipping of the surface that could compromise structural integrity, degredation of the spillway surface and encroachment from invasive weeds that could crack or damage the concrete if left untreated. An aerial asset inspection of this kind would normally involve two flights, one to capture high resolution vertical still images which are then stitched into a single large format image for closer inspection, the second to capture forward-facing high definition video footage to inspect any detected issues more closely.

In the above image, the footage detected gaps in the spillway panels as well as some erosion of the spillway surface and penetration by an invasive weed species. Comparison images taken over time can also reveal progressive issues that may not be detected in a single inspection and build up a history of inspections in case of audit or investigation.

All the images in the inspection are spatially tagged with GPS data and the large format stitched image can be converted to a GPS-tagged GeoTIFF format which can be loaded into an iPad or other tablet device and used to precisely locate areas requiring manual inspection or treatment. Where additional precision is required, Queensland Drones can use geo-referenced Ground Control Points to position imagery and maps in 3-dimensional space to an accuracy of <1cm horizontal and <2cm vertical.

Energy infrastructure inspection

Close up aerial photography allows inspection of elevated assets without expensive lifting and safety equipment

For energy suppliers, Queensland Drones’ aerial asset inspections provide imagery previously only obtainable using expensive helicopter inspections or large aerial platforms which place staff at risk.

Our aerial imaging platforms can provide continuous imaging of high tension distribution systems over distances of up to 3 km per flight, with both vertical and oblique images which can be stitched into single contiguous high resolution large format photographs or 3d orthographic models. Where an issue is detected, we can provide stable, high resolution close-up images of the affected area.

We can also provide thermal imaging to identify and quantify hot-spots that may develop into fire risks.

Aerial imaging of power infrastructure is much faster and safer than manual inspections, reducing or eliminating the risk of personnel working at heights in most cases. Aerial inspection is also faster than traditional methods, with greatly reduced setup costs and efficient resource use.

The accumulated data over multiple inspection periods can provide a consistent, reliable and unbiased record of inspections and the status of critical assets which is invaluable for governance, audit and investigation activities.


Aerial asset inspection saves time and money and reduces the risk to personnel in difficult environments

Close asset inspection is a critical tool in the management of large, hard to reach infrastructure like power station cooling towers.

In the above image, aerial inspection of a 125 metre high tower was far more efficient, safe and cost-effective than traditional inspection methods and quickly identified issues with the condition of a previous repair carried out on the tower. As well as water and power infrastructure, Queensland Drones can provide high quality digital capture (still image or video) for bridges, roads, chimneys and exhaust stacks, silos and storage containers, wind turbines, windmills, towers and roofs much more safely and cost-effectively than traditional inspection methods, without the need for expensive cranes, cherry pickers, scaffolds or other work platforms.

Our job safety assessment system ensures that all our operations are conducted for maximum safety and minimum risk. Anyone can fly a drone and capture images (and some of those will be ok), but we take the time to ensure that all our work is completed safely and with minimum impact on your staff or operations.

We are CASA-certified and fully insured. To find out more about how our Aerial Asset Inspection Services can help you to better achieve your asset management outcomes, call us on the number below or use one of the other links to request a callback, usually within one working day.