YELLOWTAIL Aviation, an unmanned aerial inspection company, has introduced Aero-Eyestm, a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) method for wind turbine blade inspection.
YELLOWTAIL's Aero-Eyestm UAVs are fitted with high-definition, high-resolution video imaging cameras. Remotely controlled from the ground by a pilot, the Aero-Eyestm takes off vertically. The UAV is flown to within 25 feet of the wind turbine, and for the next 10 minutes, the pilot maneuvers Aero-Eyestm to take high-definition videos and pictures of the turbine's blades, YELLOWTAIL explains.
The pilot then lands Aero-Eyestm and removes the Secure Digital (SD) memory card that contains all the high-resolution videos and pictures. A new SD card is installed, and Aero-Eyestm is ready to inspect the next turbine.
No cranes, scaffolding or wind turbine climbers are required for this inspection method, the company says, and the turbine is stopped for only few minutes.