The offer for inspecting structures with drones is evolving and HYDRO Exploitation is fully invested in this trend through its partnerships with specialised companies.
Water supply points, hydraulic reservoirs and galleries that generally extend over vast stretches of land and are difficult to access must be regularly inspected to identify any potential problems and to plan maintenance work.
The arrival of drones has changed all this as they provide major advantages in terms of logistics and security. In the field, our operating teams use them on a regular basis to check a structure located in difficult terrain after adverse weather or to monitor the impact of emptying on the bed of a watercourse or reservoir.
Geolocalisation and preservation of images
By contrast, taking images for periodic monitoring is more complex. For example, major preparatory work must be carried out before galleries can be inspected, and an efficient procedure is required to collect the information on mechanisms that cause them to steadily deteriorate. The drone must be able to power itself long enough to inspect long galleries, it must be possible to maintain the signal between the control and the drone in all circumstances, there must be enough lighting to identify any cracks, etc. It must be possible to then georeference this data, and compare results collected during different inspections, 5 or 10 years apart, even if the mandated company has since closed down.
Civil engineering, geodesy and mechanical units applied
The repeat inspection of structures is clearly undergoing a transformation, and it is with this in mind that HYDRO Exploitation decided to collaborate with companies who specialise in this type of service and are not limited solely to collecting images. This approach encourages these operators to develop their offer, with a view to providing tangible and immediate results that meet the need for monitoring civil engineering structures.