Drone Harmony’s New Tower Scan App

February 22, 2018

There are few industries in the drone world that show more promise than the cell tower inspection industry. In this post we briefly explain why and outline the key role that Drone Harmony is playing in it.

Cell Tower

Drone inspection is much safer and cheaper

Cell tower inspection, the majority of which are still conducted by manned inspections, are both expensive and dangerous. Manual cell tower inspection is in fact among the most dangerous jobs, outnumbering in deaths per 10,000 workers both police work and logging. Automated workflows have proven their potential to reduce the death toll to zero and to cut inspection costs by as much as 50%. Add to that the nearing transition to 5G technology that will require a huge scale-up in the density of cell towers, and you’ve got your answer to why.

No drone-based inspections of cell towers at scale up to now

While the hardware has been around for a couple of years now, the related software ecosystem has been lacking, leading to slow and cumbersome workflows from data acquisition, through digital model creation to report generation, thus eating up of the aforementioned promised reduction in costs. Furthermore, large site owners were reluctant to deploy drones at scale due to the lack of country-wide service providers, or simple enough end to end solutions that could be integrated into their own on-site activities. All of this is now changing, and Drone Harmony is playing a key role.

Drone Harmony cell tower inspection
3D visualization of the mission generated for a custom tower combining helices and orbits

Drone Harmony presents an automated capture app tailored for cell tower inspections

This app is based on the Drone Harmony mission planning framework, featuring the scene-centered workflow, 3D planning environment, obstacle avoidance and more. Missions for flying the tower with a number of capture methodologies can be automatically generated for the defined tower. A simple positioning calibration tool allows you to achieve pinpoint accuracy. Finally, we have stripped the app down to the simplest interface possible, but which still allows performing complex tower scans with a click of a button. Using it literally requires minimal experience with drones and a half-hour training session.

DH-Cell-Tower-Form
The tower model creation wizard in the Drone Harmony Tower Scan app

Here is a short video captured by Drone Harmony’s tower scan app.