Drone (UAV) Inspection Companies

ATS UAV Used for Visual Inspections of Large Structures or Equipment

ATS PROVIDES MORE RESPONSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE, BETTER REPORTING, AND QUICKER TURNAROUNDS THAN DO OTHER DRONE INSPECTION COMPANIES.

A Case for UAV Inspections

Applied Technical Services utilizes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — also known as small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) but best known as drones — to perform inspections on specific structures or equipment if requested or otherwise practical.

Drones are a new class of tool that offers many benefits to our consulting Engineering department’s visual inspectors — allowing them to view areas that are either dangerous or difficult for humans to access. Clients may find the process of sending a drone to look for cracks in a weld at the top of a freestanding 350ft tower much faster, safer, and cheaper than sending a technician up in a basket attached to a crane. This efficiency-boosting device drives down the cost for clients and increases the speed with which our technicians can complete their visual inspection.

ATS’ drones are outfitted with high-resolution cameras capable of taking photos or videos. These drones are both highly maneuverable and stable while hovering. This combination of features allows our licensed drone pilots and experienced camera operators to collect high-quality visual data needed to evaluate any areas of interest.

Unique among drone inspection companies, all of ATS’ flights are operated by a team of certified technicians and professional engineers — the same group that performs unassisted visual inspections. Their dual expertise allows them to not only provide data on any problems they may locate during an inspection but to help solve them as well. The inspection team reviews flight footage to draft a report on the condition of the subject, including information like areas of interest and suggested preventive maintenance actions.


ATS' Drone Inspection Capabilities

ATS’ Engineering department maintains an array of drones for use in visual inspections. Depending on the scope of the inspection, technicians will choose the most appropriate combination of units to effectively assess the condition of the subject. They have access to drones that specialize in operating in open areas and have optional thermal imaging capabilities, as well as drones that navigate tight spaces using LiDAR and remotely take accurate measurements of surface defects.

Capabilities (continued)

Our technicians use these various units to supplement the trusted visual inspection services that they already provide, taking advantage of the ease and safety afforded to them by our new drone capabilities when investigating difficult-to-access areas.


Standards and Regulations

In response to the rapid adoption of UAV technology by both hobbyist and professional pilots in recent years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates these devices to maintain orderly skies. ATS’ technicians comply with all FAA regulations on commercial drone operation when we perform drone-assisted inspections. Those regulations include:

FAA Guidelines for Commercial UAV Operation:
  • Equipment may only be operated by an FAA licensed drone pilot
  • Drone intended for commercial use must be registered with the FAA
  • Drone (plus any payload) must weigh less than 55lbs upon takeoff
  • Pilot may only fly drone within visual line of sight during outdoor inspections
  • Pilot must fly drone at 100mph or less
  • Pilot may not fly drone over people’s heads
  • Pilot may not operate drone from a moving vehicle unless in an unpopulated area

ATS and Drone Inspections

Over the 50 years since our founding, ATS has consistently delivered inspection, testing, and consulting engineering services of unequaled quality. We operate around the world, providing clients from a variety of industries with the insightful reporting they need to make informed, effective managerial decisions. Companies from the construction, energy, manufacturing, nuclear, oil/gas, pulp/paper, steel/aluminum, and telecommunications industries specifically stand to benefit from our drone inspection services.

Every ATS drone-assisted visual inspection is performed by a team of qualified professionals — a pilot licensed by the FAA under part 107 who controls the drone’s flight and an experienced camera operator who manipulates the attached camera to capture and record visual information. ATS promotes accurate reporting, quick turnarounds, and responsive customer service in our analysis process. These emphases ensure that not only do clients receive valuable insights in a timely manner but that our technicians remain transparent and accessible while examining data and recording their findings.

ATS abides by its stringent quality assurance program to ensure clients receive work from us that is consistently excellent.


Companies in need of thorough visual inspections on large structures or equipment should contact ATS today about our new drone capabilities — we take a closer look.

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